A scam’s strength is in its believability. The more real the story sounds, the more people are prone to fall into its trap. Scammers are now aware that you’ve probably been warned about them countless times, so they’re taking advantage of new technologies, major events, and new products to prowl on unsuspecting internet users.
As scammers are getting smarter, you too need to smart up. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself on the internet.
1. Be Aware That They Exist
Sounds pretty simple right? Yet we’re all drawn to good things and scammers offer these in abundance! Approaching the internet with the knowledge that scammers exist will help you wade through the too good to be true “free” offers and other forms of scams. It helps you be adequately alert.
2. Research Your Online Connections
There’s every reason to know who you’re dealing with. There’s a lot of chances of you meeting new people online nowadays. That can be a good or a bad thing. Make sure it’s a good thing by taking some time to research if the people you’re talking to are who they say they are. Find out if there are other people who may have had dealing with them in the past, then couple this with an image search to see if they really are who they say they are.
Sometimes your friends’ social accounts are hacked, and so, it’s important that whenever a message from a person you know sounds out of character for them, that you find a different means to contact them and confirm if it was really them.
3. If In Doubt, Don’t Open That Suspicious Text Or Attachment
The idea here is to not let scammers into your device through some of the links that are randomly sent to your phone through email, text, click-on-links, or pop-up windows.
4. Secure Your Personal Details
Don’t leave your mailbox unlocked. Sensitive detail that can be dangerous if in the hands of a scammer is likely in your mailbox before you throw away your bills with the rest of the trash. Make sure you shred them so that your details aren’t t just readily available to frauds.
Your passwords should be as secure as they can be. Avoid using the same password for all sites you visit, as this might prove disastrous should someone figure it out.
Use password protection and avoid shared access into your private accounts.
Social media is another place you need to be careful about. Practice caution when sharing information on social media sites. This information may be used to fake your identity or to scam you.
5. Check Your Privacy And Security Settings On Social Media
You don’t have to show your posts to everyone if you don’t want to. If you want to limit the people who can access your account, review your account’s privacy and security settings.
Also, be sure to report any suspicious behavior in your account, or if you know you might have been exposed to a scam, then it’s a good idea to start securing your account against further attacks.
6. Be Careful When You Give Out Your Credit Card Details
The traps keep improving every day, but be alert and never give out your credit card details to anyone you don’t know and trust. Another twist is if someone asks you to transfer money on their behalf. Don’t do this as well, as you might end getting caught up in a money-laundering criminal offense.
7. Take Note Of The Methods Of Payment Requested
Scammers want to be as untraceable as possible; they’re more likely to ask for unusual modes of payment such as virtual currency, iTunes cards, preloaded debit cards, gift cards and etc. There’s a reason why they’re choosing to go off-grid, and you must be careful of it.
8. Practice Caution When Shopping Online
If an offer sounds too good to be true, most times, it’s because it’s a fraud attempt. Make sure you know the online shopping service you’re using and that you trust it.
If you aren’t trying to aid potential scammers, then avoid using virtual currencies as much as possible when shopping, they’re not as protected as other transactions, and you won’t be able to get your money back once you send it.
As long as you’re on the internet, you’re exposed to scammers and their ploys. Ensure that you don’t further open yourself up to attacks.
You should make sure you’re safe at all times, and this article has detailed some of the ways to make sure you won’t be a victim of a scam.