How to Avoid Online Scams and Fraud

Have you received emails from PayPal recently asking if you’ve authorised the payments being made from your account? Or have you received one purporting to be from your bank, asking you to deal with a suspected problem by logging in right from the email? Maybe you’ve had your Facebook account hacked.

If so, you are likely to have been the victim of online scams, phishing, identity theft or fraud.

Hackers are working harder than ever to attack our credit card and bank accounts, with increasing levels of success.

How can we, as individuals, secure our accounts from the unscrupulous?

First, use your common sense. For example, if an email has spelling or grammatical errors, or is addressed oddly, it will be spam. If it is vague, or asks you to enter personal information, the chances are high it will be spam. If you want to check out the email’s validity, go to the website via your browser.

Second, never click on a link from someone you don’t know. Especially if it is a short URL which begins with “t5inyurl” or “ow.ly” and you can’t see where you are being directed.

Third, don’t download software you are not sure about as it is likely to contain malware that could, in the worst case scenario, take over or shut down your computer.

Fourth, keep your passwords secure and change them regularly. Your passwords should be difficult for a scammer to work out, so make them a combination of letters and numbers, with both upper and lower case letters.

Fifth, eep your operating systems and anti-virus software up-to-date. The alerts that pop-up on your computer warning of malware or a malicious website occur for a reason so don’t ignore them. Many updates directly address security vulnerabilities. The same applies to mobile devices such as phones and tablets. As inconvenient and annoying as this may be, you should take the time to routinely run these updates. At a minimum, run the anti-virus weekly or set the system to run automatically.

Sixth, and possibly most importantly, back up your files, preferably to an external hard drive. Make sure you do a back-up regularly, at least every week but more often if you have lots of important information you couldn’t live without. Do the same with your phone by syncing it to your computer.

While you can’t stop the hackers and scammers, follow these tips and you can seriously reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

 

Source https://zvelo.com/8-easy-tips-for-avoiding-scammers-and-hackers-on-socia...

 

© KEPA 2015

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