2020 is proving to be a banner year for online con artists, with BBC reporting that the prevalence of online scams has risen by unprecedented levels all around the world.
Online cyber scams take many forms, with the most common being “phishing” scams that attempt to fool users into handing over sensitive financial or other personal information.
One thing that is certain is that online scammers are getting smarter and more sophisticated than ever before, which means that internet users need to be extra-vigilant when navigating the online world. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the ways that users can avoid cyber scams and stay protected in 2020.
Authenticate and Lock Yourself Down
In 2020, one of the most common ways that scammers and hackers gain access to sensitive information is via affiliated accounts. This means all of those random accounts that you have connected to your Google and Facebook accounts, which are essentially acting as bridges for scammers. To protect yourself against this threat, you can use a two-factor authentication service such as LastPass, which is available for download and can be applied to all of your accounts.
Consult Trusted Review Sites
Before using any online service that requires you to create an account and provide personal information, always consult a trusted industry review site to confirm that the service is legit. For example, If you’re signing up to an online casino that requires you to provide bank details to make deposits and withdraw winnings, then you should definitely check a professional review site. As CasinoTopsOnline shows, you can get all the information you need about different online casinos.
Learn How to Spot Dubious Emails
Sometimes that old-school scams are the most enduring. Users in recent years have reported an exponential rise in the use of email phishing scams to attempts to trick customers, with emails often disguised as being from official institutions such as the IRS or the SBA. Often, you can tell a phishing email apart from the real deal. Look for inconsistent grammar or poor spelling. Check to see if the sender’s email address is an institutional one, and not just a generic Gmail or Hotmail address. In addition, never, ever, provide your bank details or social security via email, no matter who you think is asking for them.
Stay Suspicious and Trust Your Gut Feeling
According to the most recent advice online, one of the most effective things you can do to counter online scams is to stay suspicious at all times. If you receive messages aggressively offering free goods and services, be skeptical. If you receive an email from an unfamiliar address that contains a link, do not click it. Conduct thorough research on any site, entity, or individual that is requiring any kind of personal information from you. Basically, if something doesn’t feel right, you’re best to assume that it isn’t.
Online scams might be on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to them. Follow these simple and straightforward tips to stay safe during cyber crimewave.