New and improved technologies have entered our world. Hence, the spread of online scams has also increased. Fraudsters can trick you in dozens of ways, from sending you malicious software to asking to donate in non-existing charity. Don’t want to get scammed? Check out our Dos and Don’ts on how to protect yourself from Internet fraud.
Don’t Share Your Financial Information
Phishing is a scam operation aiming to receive your bank details via creating a fake website that looks exactly like an original one. The scheme is a piece of cake: users get messages asking to fill in the bank details for some reason. They don’t notice that the website is faux and give all their data to the fraudsters, who live happily ever after, with the stolen money.
Do Create Tough-to-Crack Passwords
These days, passwords like “Susan1985” or “Passw0rd” are a relic of the past, and hackers crack them in a few minutes. Create more complicated passwords at least eight characters long, including numbers, capital letters, and special characters. They recommend creating different passwords for all the websites you use.
Don’t Reveal You Social Security Number
If you receive a message asking to give your social security number, don’t trust it. Legitimate businesses might need this information, but they will never ask you to send it by email.
Do Keep Your Antivirus Up-to-Date
Computers nowadays can tell everything about their owner: names, passwords, bank account numbers. Be sure to have a secure and up-to-date antivirus to protect yourself from the information leak.
Don’t Download Suspicious Software
As fast as antiviruses improve, malicious software is developing, too. Sometimes viruses are so deeply hidden that your antivirus doesn’t see them, especially in emails. Be careful and don’t open installation files in your mail, unless they are from a trustworthy and legitimate source.
Don’t Shop on Untrustworthy Websites
Shopping online has made our lives much more comfortable: there is no need to stand in line or look for your size. On the Internet, you can choose all the characteristics of the item you need, from color to price, and receive it in a few days. However, check the URL carefully and ensure you’re on the UNIQLO site, not UNQLO ;)
Do Review Research
Reviews have a significant impact on customers. Still, keep in mind that sometimes fraudsters either pay for positive feedback or write reviews by themselves. Don’t trust the first-seen testimonials, go through different platforms to make sure the business is trustworthy.
Don’t Donate to Untrusted Charities
Sad but true: some fraudsters play on our feelings and create fake charities. Charity goals may differ – building a shelter for homeless animals, gathering money for a sick child, and more. A 5-minute Google research will save you from giving money to the scammers, so do it before making any donations.
Financial scams are lurking around every corner – online and offline. Nonetheless, it’s not that difficult to protect yourself from them: say “yes” to a reliable antivirus and preliminary research, and “no” to suspicious websites and giving your bank details each person asking you.