4 Online Scams You Should Know About and Avoid in 2020
Remember when the Internet was a safe place? You could surf online and look at any website. All emails were legitimate and people weren't trying to trick you out of your money. Those days are long gone. Well, it's time for a reality check. It's a new year which means cybercriminals have invented new ways of trying to trick you out of your money. Young and old, we are all capable of becoming an easy target for malicious criminals who want to steal our personal data. What can you do to stay safe? Well, check out the latest tactics criminals will be using this year.
I should start by sharing that your technology devices are safe from being hacked. Most of the tactics used by cybercriminals require user interaction. When you hear of companies falling victim to ransomware attacks, smart home devices getting compromised, it's because people weren't taking steps to protect themselves. If you don't want your devices and accounts getting hacked, use strong passwords and don't give out your information. Here are the list of scams to avoid.
1. Email Attachment Scam. Email attachments are the most common way home and business users get hacked by cybercriminals. It's human nature. You see an attachment, you want to see what it is so you click on it. Well, resist that from now on. If you weren't expecting an attachment from a family member or co-worker, don't click on it. You can read the email, but for the love of God, don't click on the attachment.
2. Phishing Scams. Phishing Scams are another popular way criminals get your information. The way it works is you'll get any email or a call from someone pretending to be from a company you trust, think you bank, your social media, account ... the Government .. you get it asking you to disclose some personal information because of a problem with your account. Well, if you get one of these emails, ignore it and call the company who claims that you have a problem. Keep in mind most organizations will call you ... but if you don't trust the call, hang up and call them back.
3. Hitman Scams. It sounds like something out of a movie, but there are a lot of people who have had this happen to them. You get an email from a hitman claiming they have a contract on your life. If you pay the hitman, your life is spared. If you don't, they will carry out the hit. The best way to avoid this scam is to be cautious of the information you share online.
4. Ransomware and Scareware Scams. One minute you're using your computer or smart device to surf the web, next thing you know a message pops up with sirens blaring saying your device is infected with a virus and you need to call tech support. The solution for this is to simply close your web browser or restart your device, but the real lesson to learn is to watch where you're surfing on the web and don't call the number.
Cyber scams will constantly evolve just like technology does. Always stay vigilant and make sure you're keeping track of the latest data breaches, using different passwords on all of your online accounts and backing up your critical information at home and work to make sure your information and money stays out of the hands of cybercriminals.
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