September 17, 2016

7 Online Protection Tips From Scammers

Online scams are not uncommon, everyday millions of people are ripped off of their money and personal information by online scammers. Like the recently caught online scammer “Mike” who swindled over 60 million from people and $15.4 million from a single person alone! If you have an online account containing personal information or you shop online, it is extremely important for you to be beware of online scams and take the right precautions.

Peotection From Online Scammers

Although there are hundreds of online scams happening all the time, if you develop some online safety habits then you can prevent yourself from most of these scams. In this article, we are listing down 12 online scam protection tips that should help you stay safe while browsing the web:

1 Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are one of the most common yet effective ways of scamming someone online. In a phishing attack, the scammer creates a fake webpage (mostly sign-in page) that looks almost exactly like the web page of a legit company. When a victim signs-in using that page, all of the information is sent to the scammer instead of logging in. After that, the scammer can use that information to his liking to either hack an account or steal debit/credit card information.

Unfortunately, it is not that hard to execute a phishing attack, and at the same time; it is very hard not to fall for one. For example this new Amazon Phishing attack is very convincing and any innocent shopper could easily fall for it.

Prevention: Phishing web pages are shared as hyperlinks usually through emails and instant messaging apps. If someone unknown sends you a link to click on in order to get some benefits or prevent any damage, never click on it. If you do click on such a link, don’t enter your personal information if asked. Furthermore, phishing webpages cannot copy the exact domain name of the original website, do check if the domain is same or a little different. For example, facebook.com could be typed as facetook.com.

2 Email Scams

Email is one of the biggest sources of online scams, which is why almost all email services have a spam filter. Most online scams are received as emails with offers and threats that could force you to give up your information.

Prevention: Never believe or reply to an email that is directed to the spam folder of your email account. Even if you do get a good offer or some kind of threat in your inbox, be very skeptical about it and ensure you know the actual source. At times, it might even seem that your bank account (or other legal company) may ask for your information to tackle a problem, just ignore such emails and manually go to the original company website and login to see if there’s actually a problem.

3 Never Use the Same Password Everywher

As most scams focus on stealing account information to further manipulate, it is important to take the right measures to protect your account information. If you use the same password for all your online accounts, then a single hacked account could lead to all your online accounts being compromised. This gets worse because many people may focus on protecting their email or bank account, but they may not be as concerned about their account for an online video game. A breach of that video game account could lead to getting your email or bank account hacked as well.

  • Prevention: Never use a same password twice for any of your online accounts. To manage multiple passwords, use a good password manager that will remember all the passwords for you.

    Password Protecttion tips


  • 4 Secure Your PC and Smartphone

    Many malicious programs are focused on stealing information and compromising online accounts. Thus, it is extremely important to ensure your PC and smartphone are secure from all malicious apps that could steal your information. Ransomware is a notable malicious program that could lock down your data in your PC and you will have to pay back money to the scammer to unlock it. Furthermore, keyloggers and monitoring software are also malicious programs that could steal your sensitive information.

    Prevention: First of all, get a reliable antivirus program with real-time protection. The antivirus should bring decent security, however, you need to be careful at your end as well. Refrain from downloading content from suspicious sources and don’t click on untrusted links (more on that later). A malicious program is always downloaded to your PC, either attached with another program or by force; when you click on a malicious link.

    5 Urgent Money Requests This is a really common scam where the scammer will pose as a friend or relative and ask for urgent need of money. In most cases they will claim to be in deep trouble and may even use the friend’s or relative’s actual account by hacking it. In most cases, this happens to people who expose their friends/relatives information on social media networks (follow tip #6 for this).

    Prevention: Before providing any help, make a phone call or a free VoIP call to the person and talk to them to confirm they actually need help.

    6 Don’t Make Your Information Publicly Visible

    As scammers and hackers feed on your data, always keep your information private on social media networks and other sites where your personal information is listed. If the information is lying around, ready to be accessed by anyone (including search engines), then you are inviting scammers to target you.

    Prevention: Almost all social media networks provide control over your information. Simply go to Settings and then Privacy settings to see how you can control this information. Try to keep your information maximum to your friends and ensure there are no scammers in your friends list.

    7 Avoid Malicious HyperLinks

    HyperLinks are the main source of spreading malicious programs or directing people to infected websites. Clicking on a malicious link could lead to downloading a malware or giving up your information to a phishing attack. Never click on a link given to you by a stranger. Ensure the link is from a legit source; and even then try to access the webpage by manually navigating to it in your browser (if possible, of course).

    Added Risks of Using Public WiFi

    Finding a free public WiFi network might seem like a holy grail, but think twice before using it. Anyone with the right tools could easily see what data you are accessing and also steal information from unencrypted sources.

    Prevention: Always use a VPN service to encrypt the traffic, so snoopers won’t see what you are doing; there are many free VPNs available as well. If you are on smartphone then you can also use a VPN app for Android and iOS. On top of that, never purchase anything online or access your bank’s website while connected to a public Wi-Fi.

    1 comment:

    1. For number 5, if for some reason you can't contact your friend or relative who is supposedly in trouble, take a minute to go to a reverse phone number lookup system such as https://www.callercenter.com. You can quickly see if the number that called you has been reported for scam activity. It's very quick!

      ReplyDelete