People were advised not to divulge personal information or engage in conversation with strangers when the internet was first getting started. Now, ride-hailing applications like Uber bring strangers to our doorsteps so that we may take a spin in their vehicle.
There are individuals out there who are doing bad things on the internet, but we’ve become so used to it that it’s easy to forget about them. It is common for cybercriminals to build fake websites and internet scams in order to deceive people into passing over personal information or cash.
Many of the most common internet frauds for the year 2021 and even 2022 appear the same as they did a decade ago. They’re just old ideas using a new medium. You may better prepare for these cyber threats in the new year by knowing about the most frequent strategies and integrating that knowledge with security solutions.
Even though phishing (pronounced “Fishing”) is one of the most popular cyber threats, it remains as successful as before. Email, social media, and other messaging applications like WhatsApp may all be used by phishers to trick you into divulging personal information or clicking on a harmful link.
Cybercriminals are constantly broadening their phishing strategy to include any location where you may have a one-on-one conversation on the internet, including email.
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The Best Ways To Avoid Phishing
To avoid falling victim to a phishing scam, take your time while reading an email or text message. As a result of this, you’ll be able to identify irregularities like misspelled names, bad language, and broken links. If you’re not sure about a link, just place your mouse pointer over it. When you hover your cursor over a URL, you’ll be able to see whether or not it’s a legitimate or a fake one. Ask yourself “were you expecting an email from this company/person?”, “Did I enter the lottery in South Africa?” or “How does the IRS have my email address (hint, there is currently no place on any IRS form that requests your email address)?
Fake Antivirus Software
If you see a pop-up indicating that your computer has been infected while you’re surfing the Internet, it’s probably a scam. You are being tricked into downloading malware, viruses, and ransomware by these false antivirus software advertisements and pop-ups. They can be very convincing!
How To Prevent Fake Antivirus Hacks
Make sure you have an antivirus installed, and if you don’t, purchase one immediately. Pop-ups with flashing lights or those urging you to download an application should be taken with caution. When using a professional antivirus software like Antivirus Plus, you won’t have to do anything until the cyber threat has been dealt with since the antivirus software will take care of everything for you in the background.
Fake Shopping Websites
If you’re a fan of your favorite businesses, you’re going to see a lot of websites that attempt to convince you that they’re really affiliated with them. They attempt to con you, even offering “amazing offers” of up to 75% off, on these unknown websites.
How To Prevent
Scam e-commerce sites all have a few characteristics. They often use URLs that are similar, but not identical, to the target brands. Because they’re fake, they’re likely to include spelling issues and outrageous pricing that you can’t get anyplace else. Instead, you’ll get phone goods or be scammed out of your money with no way to get your money back.
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Tech Support Scam
Ads or phone calls are used by scammers pretending to be tech help representatives who claim their computer or gadget is contaminated, frequently without ever having seen the equipment. In order to get remote access to a computer, these fraudsters trick the user into downloading software that, when installed, gives them full remote control of the machine. Afterward, they ask for money to rectify the issue. Or better yet, I love it when they ask for Amazon or iTunes gift cards as payment, because yeah, that’s how tech support companies improve their top line!
How To Prevent Tech Support Scams
If you have a computer problem, you should be aware that no one from Microsoft, Google, or Apple will ever contact you to let you know. Occasionally, they may send you an email stating that your device has a problem and that you should contact them. Always perform a Google search to make sure these are the correct support numbers.
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Any tech support company that costs a lot of money to repair your computer or Mac should be avoided. Half or more of what a gadget is really worth may be found in these amounts. In order to receive assistance with your equipment, you may need to contact the manufacturer directly. Scam websites may pay for advertising on Google to appear when someone searches for tech support.
A crime known as identity theft occurs when someone steals a victim’s Personal Identifying Information (PII), which includes information like the victim’s name and address, Social Security number, or other identifying numbers, such as those on their medical insurance or credit card accounts. Identity fraudsters may utilize a variety of technological and low-tech ways to get personal and financial information from their victims.
What You Can Do To Avoid Identity Theft
The use of long, memorable passwords, such as a song lyric or a quote that contains letters and numbers, is recommended by security experts. For security reasons, it is recommended that you use a different password for each account. If a company with whom they do business notifies them of a data breach, they should change their password as soon as possible. If you want to make this easier for you, invest in a password manager like LastPass to track and fill in all your passwords. I love it. I honestly don’t know what my Facebook password is! When I visit the site or load the app, Lastpass fills in my password for me! Another security option would be to enforce Two-Factor Authentication on all your accounts (banking, social media, online shopping sites…everything!)
Do I Really Have To Worry About Scams Online?
If you’re anything like me, you spend a good chunk of your day online. Whether you’re scrolling through social media, reading the news, or checking your email, it’s hard to imagine life without the internet. But as we all know, the internet can be a dangerous place. Every day, there are new reports of online scams and fraud. So, should we be worried?
Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, you should be aware of the dangers of online scams. But no, you shouldn’t let them stop you from enjoying the benefits of the internet.
Quick Tips On Protecting Yourself From Scams
It seems like you can’t log onto the internet or use your phone these days without being bombarded by scams. Whether it’s a pop-up ad promising miracle weight loss results or an email from a “Nigerian prince” asking for help to transfer funds, online scams are becoming more and more common. So how can you protect yourself? The best defense against online scams is to be informed and vigilant. Keep up with the latest news about online security and be on the lookout for warning signs, such as unexpected attachments or requests for personal information. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend or family member for their opinion. It’s okay to ask for help. And remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Without sounding too cliche, you should be wary, overly cautious, and trust your gut.
The internet can be a dangerous place, especially when it comes to your personal information. Be smart and watch out for these popular online scams. Don’t let yourself be the next victim! Furthermore, talk about these scams with your family. These cyber-thugs prey on the most vulnerable victims. All too often, this means those seasoned individuals who may not know all the ins and outs of the web. So do your family and friends a favor and talk about these issues. One of the best ways to combat these scams is to root them out and report them.