Top 10 Ways to Avoid Internet Scams
There is no denying the fact that the Internet has made our lives much easier. Unfortunately, this convenience has been accompanied by an equal amount of risk in the form of scammers. With every passing day, this risk continues to grow as scammers continue to employ new methods, making online space a dangerous place to be.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid getting scammed and preventing your valuable information and money from being stolen. Every internet user needs to take precautions and measures to ensure online safety and privacy.
Beware of phishing scams
One of the most common tactics used by Internet scammers to steal personal information, including bank account numbers and passwords, is phishing. The fraud is conducted by sending a seemingly authentic e-mail from the victims' bank or social networking website, asking them to verify their account details.
The victim is asked to click the link given in the mail, which will direct him/her to the login page. The page looks genuine, but is actually fake. Any information entered on the fake page is recorded and sent to the scammer who sent the e-mail. In order to keep oneself from becoming a victim of a phishing scam, one should ignore such e-mails and report them to the appropriate authority.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
If you receive an e-mail congratulating you for winning the lottery and asking you for your bank account details in order to transfer the money, ignore it. Thousands of people receive such e-mails every day.
Limit your online shopping to trusted websites
You are required to provide your credit card information while shopping online. Scammers build fake online shopping websites in order to steal such information from unsuspecting internet users. Avoid falling for this trick by using authentic and trusted websites only.
If you see suspicious emails in your inbox or junk box, it is best to delete them instead of giving into your temptation of opening them and clicking the links inside.
Avoid online chat rooms
Scammers usually fish for unsuspecting, potential targets in chat rooms. The risk of getting caught in the net of a scammer in such places is significantly higher than others. Therefore, it is best to avoid online chat rooms.
Be careful while using social networking websites
Social networking websites allow you to communicate and add people from across the globe to your network. While this is a good thing for your network, it puts you at a grave security risk. You might unknowingly include a scammer in your network, who will strike when you are least expecting it. Therefore, be extra cautious while using social networking websites.
Prefer plastic cards for transactions
Rather than giving your credit card or bank account details on an online shopping website, it is strongly recommended that you use a physical card for purchasing items. This will significantly reduce your chances of becoming the victim of an Internet scam.
Do not fall for sob stories
It is not uncommon to come across fake and emotional stories on the Internet such as a kid dying from an illness because his parents cannot afford the medical bills. Do not fall for these stories. Understand that these are fake and are meant to appeal to your emotions in order to steal your hard-earned money.
Avoid accessing your bank account from unknown network
Accessing your financial information and bank account through a WiFi network that is not secure can open the gate wide for a scammer or hacker to steal your information, account number and password. Therefore, avoid logging into sensitive accounts from unknown networks.
Change password frequently
Make it a habit to change your password frequently. This practice will make your account safer and keep hackers and scammers at bay.