The internet is, for most people, the greatest invention of all time. But it can be used for good causes as well as for evil ones. It all depends on people’s will and intentions.
Thus, it is essential that you surf the internet with maximum security in order to be as protected as possible from the action of hackers or other criminals. Learn how to protect yourself online by reading all about the best tips to never fall victim to frauds and scams. The following 7 points stand out, so make sure to read them all!
1. Stay as Informed and Updated as Possible
You should be as up-to-date as possible about the online schemes most used by thieves, such as fraudulent online store purchases, email scams that are sent for your inbox, fake websites (website ATM scam, for example), among other scams. Just as you have to be prepared and informed about the best anti-virus protection software you should use.
Use a Firewall for Greater Security and Browsing Confidence:
A firewall will block unauthorized access to your computer, smartphone, tablet or other smart home appliances in your home. Its use ensures that all equipment that is connected to your home network is protected, which means greater security.
You can also use a firewall whenever you are using a free Wi-Fi public network so that you are not a victim of free Wi-Fi scams on your smartphone or other mobile devices.
Note that, most of the time, smart home devices are not equipped with security measures and end up being a point of entry for hackers, if you do not have an active firewall.
Keep Your Computer Software Up To Date:
You need to have your computer software as up-to-date as possible so that you are always protected when you are online, especially if your dream job involves shopping and selling online.
That way, keep your browser, antivirus, and other data protection software up to date. Thus, you are reducing the possibility of attacks and security breaches on your computer. Enable automatic updates in software settings and have a secure and comfortable online presence.
2. Keep Your Personal Information Safe
To increase your security while online, you should never respond to requests for personal information, online account data or even phone data – there are countless phone scams that can be used only with access to your number.
WhatsApp scamming is one of the most popular right now. Hackers use your phone number to install Pegasus on voice calls – spyware that makes a voice call to your WhatsApp number. Even if you don’t answer the call, this WhatsApp scam can still be effective by installing malware on your device.
How to make your phone safe? Always use legitimate sources of information to confirm your data, such as those found on the official websites of brands or institutions.
3. Do Not Share Your Personal Data Online
Following the previous point, you should not disclose your personal data to online friends, such as your date of birth, your single name if applicable, the name of your pet, among other information. Criminals are always on the prowl to access your accounts and steal everything – even your identity.
That is why constant alerts are released about the information that people disclose on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, among others. This information can be used by an internet scammer against themselves or copied to commit a crime of identity theft.
Don’t Get Excited By Sweepstakes or Online Contests:
Be careful with sweepstakes or online contests, as these can be false and just an excuse to collect your personal data, such as an address, phone, email, among other personal information. From here, there may be attempts to assault your property (hackers know your address), your email (phishing email), your smartphone (text message scams), among other types of fraud.
4. Don’t Fully Trust the Concept of Working From Home
On the internet, especially on social networks, it is common to find an extraordinary online job offer that makes you dream of thousands of dollars. It is as if you have won a jackpot and you have found the solution to all your problems.
However, you must be very careful with these offers because they can be specific job scams just to steal your identification data. In these situations, always be guided by the following maxim: if it is too good to be true, always be suspicious.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Finances
Always be aware of movements made on your debit and credit cards, especially after making transfers and payments online. Sometimes it is in the most trusted places that the most elaborate frauds are found.
These can be associated with Amazon seller scams, fraudulent online stores, online car buying scams, cloned websites and many other schemes in order to deceive you and take advantage of it.
6. Think Differently and Create Strong and Complex Passwords
One of the golden rules of staying safe online is to create strong and unique passwords, as they are the best to protect your personal and financial information.
You must use a specific password to access the email, a different one to access social networks and an even more complex one to log in to your bank. Follow the tips below to create an unbreakable password:
-Choose a password with at least 12 characters.
-Include a combination of numbers, special characters, upper and lower case in your password.
-Use foreign words or words that are not in the dictionary.
-Do not use obvious passwords, like “123456789,” “abcdef” or “password,” as well as birthdays because they are everywhere (on social networks, for example) and, as such, they are easy to crack.
-Use password managers like LastPass, Dashlane and Sticky Password that allow you to securely store all your passwords.
-Use multi-factor authentication when signing in to an account with a different device you use – a validation code is usually sent to your phone to ensure that it’s really you who is accessing the account.
7. Report All Online Scams You Fall Victim To
Using a laptop or smartphone to make bank payments online is already a common practice that is part of most people’s daily lives. Doesn’t the same thing apply to you? So, you know perfectly well what we’re talking about. However, be aware that you should be as cautious as possible because the danger is always lurking and you can quickly fall victim to an online scam.
Bonus: How to really protect yourself from scams?
There are several ways to be tricked online and the schemes used are becoming more sophisticated than ever. How can you shop safely? Shopping online is very easy if you adopt the following tips:
-Be aware that scam websites are a reality on the web.
-Study the retailer you’re dealing with to confirm that the business is real.
-Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or load on unknown email links (most phishing email scams appear this way).
-Do not answer phone calls asking you for remote access to your electronic device.
-Choose your passwords very wisely: mix numbers with letters and other unusual characters.
-Be careful about unusual payment requests from some suspicious websites.
-What to Do If You Have Been the Target of Online Scams?
-How to avoid scams? If you suspect that you are the victim of any scam online, you should immediately stop what you are doing and follow these steps:
-Halt all contact with the scammer to prevent any more damage.
-Do not make any further payments to the scammer.
-Contact your bank.
-Change all of your online passwords on a device that is not linked to the scam.
-Update your antivirus software or application and scan your device for malware.
-Contact the authorities to file a complaint.
-Learn how to recognize scamming websites and talk about what happened to you to prevent similar happenings.
These are the 7 tips you should follow to never fall victim to online scams. As you can see, there are several dangers lurking (sometimes in the places where you least expect it), but it is up to you to be up to the task to avoid them and to be online with maximum security and convenience.