Todays "Cyberland" the internet, is a shooting gallery and YOU are the target! Here are ten ways you can avoid being scammed on the internet.
1. Be cautious with sharing personal information: Avoid sharing sensitive personal information like your address, social security number, or bank account details unless it is absolutely necessary and with trusted sources.
2. Use strong and unique passwords: Create strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts and avoid using easily guessable information like your name, birthdate, or sequential numbers. Consider using a password manager to securely store and manage your passwords.
3. Verify website authenticity: Before making any online transactions or sharing personal information on a website, ensure that it is secure and legitimate. Look for indicators like HTTPS in the URL, a lock symbol in the address bar, and read reviews or testimonials if available.
4. Be cautious with unsolicited emails and messages: Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unsolicited emails, text messages, or social media messages. Scammers often use phishing techniques to trick users into revealing their personal information or infecting their devices with malware.
5. Keep your devices and software up to date: Regularly update your operating system, antivirus software, and other applications to ensure they have the latest security patches. This helps protect your devices from vulnerabilities that scammers may exploit.
6. Use trusted sources for downloads: When downloading software, apps, or files, use official app stores or reputable websites. Be cautious of third-party sources that may distribute malicious software.
7. Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers: If an offer or deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Exercise caution when dealing with exaggerated claims, unrealistic prices, or promises of instant wealth.
8. Educate yourself about common scams: Stay informed about common internet scams such as phishing, advance fee frauds, lottery scams, and online shopping scams. Knowing about these scams helps you recognize and avoid them.
9. Enable two-factor authentication: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. It adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts by requiring a secondary verification code in addition to your password.
10. Trust your instincts: If something feels suspicious or doesn't seem right, trust your instincts. If you're unsure about a website, an email, a message, or an offer, it's always better to err on the side of caution and avoid it.
The bottom line is "you must become a detective" in order to avoid falling prey to scammers. Shortly after the creation of the internet, "bad players" began to emerge and quickly learned how to manipulate data to their advantage. There are a lot of very smart people out there in "cyberland" who spend all of their time learning how to break into supposedly "secure systems" as well as your computer. And the problem has grown exponentially over the years. As long as the internet exists these "bad players" will still be here exploiting you and me for monetary gain; but some of them do it just for the fun of it to see if they can get away with it.
Sadly, I have to tell my Mom all of the time, "That isn't REALLY Mark Harmon on Facebook trying to chat with you", and "If the prices are too low, it is most likely a scam, don't buy anything". It is really sad that there are so many people willing to take advantage of people they perceive as "weaker". It seems that in every situation, there are bad people willing to use technology for bad.
I had to caution my sweet Deborah many times about clicking on links especially
on FaceBook. Three times that I remember for sure I had to eliminate a virus that she
picked up on her computer.
It's sad how hard people will work to cheat people instead of working hard on a career. I've had to lock down twice because my streaming services were hacked.
Got an email today that looked very realistic...used the company logo but for some reason it put me on alert. Good thing it did because I almost fell into the trap. You really got to be careful these days. These scammers are getting scary good.
That's the main reason I love my Thunderbird email client. If an email looks suspicious I can simply highlight it, click View at the top, scroll down and click View Message Source. Then I can see all of the headers, the servers it went through and all the details without ever opening it.
While I don't have Thunderbird, I also usually check my email on my computer. This time I was on my cell phone and as I always say, using the cell phone sometimes won't show you everything you need to see. Rest assured that I won't do that again.