Scams occur regularly when someone tries to gain access to your personal information or get money from you. Scammers will use certain tools to try and trick you, and they often do so through the mail, online, in person, or over the phone. There are a number of things you can do to avoid scams and keep your money and personal information safe. However, if you do fall victim to a scam, you can report it to various agencies and companies.
How To Avoid Falling Victim To Online Scams
1. Be skeptical.
2. Keep calm and rational.
3. Don’t reveal personal information.
4. Never send money to receive money.
5. Only allow someone to remotely access your computer if they are from a trusted source, such as your internet service provider.
6. Create passwords which are long, unique and use a mix of random numbers and lower and upper case letters (the longer the password the harder it is to guess – a 10 digit password is better than an 8 digit one).
7. Make sure you change passwords regularly and don’t share them.
8. Use antivirus software and keep it up to date so you’ll be protected against the most recent viruses – if you buy software online make sure it is from a genuine supplier.
9. Understand what software you are installing on your computer or phone and make sure you are using a secure site when you buy software, tablet or smartphone – a secure site will have a web address beginning with https, not HTTP.
10. Make sure your firewall is switched on – operating systems such as Windows come with built-in firewall settings, which can monitor and warn you of unexpected access to your computer.
11. Make sure you regularly install updates to your operating system (Windows is an example of an operating system).
12. Install the latest version of your web browser, for example, Internet Explorer, which will have the latest security features.
13. Don’t open suspicious or unknown emails, email attachments, texts or pop up messages – for example, an email with an unusually worded subject heading.
14. No genuine company will contact you to ask for your log-in details, such as your password or user id – you should only need to provide this information when you are logging onto a service such as online banking.
15. Before entering payment card details on a website, make sure the link is secure.
1. If this happens, do not feel like you should be hiding this or ignore the problem, or it will get worse. You need to act to make sure you protect yourself.
2. If you have shared your login details, contact the companies involved (banks, e-mail providers, Apple, etc.) and change your credentials. Otherwise, things will get worse.
3. If you shared credit card details, contact your bank and report this immediately so they can stop any further misuse of your card.
4. You can install some anti-malware tools such as Malwarebytesto help remove and keep off malware from your system (a free version is available which lets you run scans manually).