Do you ever feel like you’re constantly one click away from falling prey to an online scam? With the rise of technology, the internet has become a hunting ground for cybercriminals looking to steal your personal information and hard-earned cash. According to a recent study by Juniper Research, global losses from cybercrime are projected to reach $5 TRILLION by 2024.
From shopping online to paying bills, the internet has made our lives much easier, but it has also exposed us to new and ever-evolving threats. But don’t worry; you don’t have to live in fear of the internet. With these seven simple yet effective strategies, you can prevent online fraud and scams and surf the web with peace of mind. So, let’s get started on securing your digital life.
Types of Online Scams
There are numerous online scams, and new ones are constantly being created. However, some of the most common ones include the following:
- Phishing Scams
- Investment Scams
- Online Shopping Scams
- Lottery and Prize Scams
- Advance-Fee Scams
- Charity Scams
- Work-From-Home Scams
- Account Takeover
Of these, phishing scams are the most common. These scams attempt to steal sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, by posing as trustworthy entities. They often involve an email or a fake website that looks legitimate.
How To Identify Scammers?
Scams can come in many forms and can be challenging to identify, but you must be vigilant to protect yourself. Online scams are becoming increasingly clever and sophisticated in their efforts to defraud individuals. By recognizing common red flags, you can prevent online frauds easily.
Scammers are always on the prowl, waiting for the next unsuspecting victim to fall for their tricks. They use tactics like creating a sense of urgency, asking for personal information, making unsolicited offers, requesting payment through untraceable methods and using poor grammar and spelling in their communications. Stay alert and protect yourself by recognizing these common red flags. Here are some ways to prevent frauds and online scams.
How To Avoid Online Scams?
The digital world is a double-edged sword. While it offers endless opportunities and convenience, it also harbors countless threats in the form of online frauds. But don’t be a statistic! By armoring yourself with the proper knowledge and tools, you can stay safe in the digital world and enjoy all its benefits without worry.
With our guidance, you’ll be able to stay one step ahead of the scammers and enjoy the wonders of the internet. So, let’s learn the 7 best ways to keep yourself safe from online frauds and scams.
1. Research the Company or Individual
Before giving out any personal information or money, it’s crucial to verify the legitimacy of the company or individual by researching online and consulting trusted sources. Refrain from being too eager to believe in offers that seem too good to be true, and always look for customer reviews or complaints.
A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report found that impostor scams, where scammers pose as trustworthy individuals or organizations, were the most reported scam in 2020, accounting for over 70% of total reports.
2. Use Secure Websites
When making online transactions or entering sensitive information, use secure websites that begin with “https.” It indicates that the website has been encrypted, and your information will be transmitted securely.
To be extra cautious, check the URL of the website you visit and ensure that the SSL certificate is valid and issued by a trusted certificate authority.
3. Be Cautious of Unsolicited Emails or Calls
Beware of unsolicited emails or calls that ask for personal information or money. Don’t click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious sources, as these could contain malware or viruses.
A study by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) found that phishing attacks increased by 18% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
4. Keep Personal Information Private
Be mindful of the personal information you share online and on social media. Avoid sharing sensitive information, such as your social security number or financial information, and be cautious of who you give it. A report by Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) found that data breaches in the U.S. increased by 43% in 2020.
5. Use Strong Passwords
Create strong and unique passwords for your online accounts, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Use upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to make your password more secure.
A study by SplashData found that “123456” and “password” were the most commonly used passwords in 2020.
6. Keep Your Software and Devices Updated
Regularly update your software, including your operating system and security software, to protect against known vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals often target outdated software to gain access to sensitive information. The Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) reported that over 11 billion records were exposed to data breaches in 2020.
7. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Enable two-factor authentication on your online accounts whenever possible to add an extra layer of security. It requires you to enter a unique code, in addition to your password, to access your account, making it more difficult for a hacker to gain access. A report by Google found that funds with two-factor authentication were up to 100 times less likely to be compromised by hackers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that Americans lost over $1.9 billion to Fraud in 2020, with nearly half of all fraud reports involving scams related to money transfers.
Protect your finances and safeguard your personal information by following the best practices outlined in this article. And if you’re looking for a secure and reliable platform for money transactions, DT&T is here to help. With advanced security measures and a user-friendly interface, this platform makes it easy to manage your money. Sign up today and experience peace of mind with secure online transactions.
Online fraud can be devastating and has become increasingly common in recent years. To keep yourself safe from online fraud, it is essential to be vigilant and take proactive steps to protect your personal and financial information.