Ever since more people have gained access to comfort technology and digitalized banking services, online scam rates have skyrocketed. It turns out that the person who works for Microsoft and wants to give you a refund isn’t really a Microsoft employee.
Research shows that as of now, Americans have lost a total of $29.8 billion to phone scams alone, so computer-based scams are a whole other problem. With such huge numbers, it is safe to say that these scammers are having a blast, and together we need to put an end to it. With that said, here are some of the most effective ways to protect you from online scams. Because, like any escape room, escaping these scams will truly protect your identity and money.
1. Keep your identity safe:
A lot of scammers have the ability to get information about you in order to either use it for loans or other purchases or to sell your info to malicious organizations. The easy way to avoid such things from happening is to private all of your social media accounts and make sure you do not share personal information with anyone over any platform unless you know them and are sure they will not misuse your details.
2. Protect your devices:
Oftentimes, if you find that your computer is infected with some malicious software (which is usually sent to you by a scammer via email), make sure you have password protection on your computer and other devices.
3. Install Antivirus software:
If you believe that your computer is easily compressible, feel free to get antivirus software, there are a ton of good ones that are verifiable and can help you clean your device and rid it of malicious software and viruses.
4. Install a VPN:
A VPN or virtual private network is something that helps you mask your current IP, basically protecting your device from potential scammers looking for your address that could be used for illegal purposes. There are lots of VPNs available that do not even slow down your internet connection and can allow you to stay protected while browsing the internet from a random country you are connected to.
5. Check websites that you visit:
Especially with Google, it is rather easy to recognize if a certain website is secure or not. If a website is secure, you will see a lock in the URL tab with the link of the site. Oftentimes, Google will warn you of malicious sites, and if you are not entirely sure about the site, it is best to stay away from it.
The best thing that you can do to really avoid being scammed online is to track red flags if there is a random person asking for personal information, or if there is an email that states that you have won or are eligible to receive a ridiculous amount of money, those are usually red flags because more often than not, they will want some money before they themselves sanction any money from their side.
To be certain, keep reviewing your credit card and make sure there are no purchases, loans, or other transactions on your card that you do not recognize. And let us assume you find such a transaction, immediately call the bank to freeze the card.
And these are some of the great ways to stay protected from online scams. Remember, most of these scammers have no power against you unless you oblige. Most of these refund scams (one of the biggest computer-based scams in the world) work by the scammer connecting virtually to your computer using third-party software like Anydesk.
It is also important for you to protect your identity on social media so that your information is not used without your awareness to commit illegal activity. Make sure only the people you trust have you added on social media and no one else. And changing your password every few months is also recommended.
Author Bio: Sophia Scott is a content creator at escaperoom.com. She’s a passionate young woman, mother to an amazing nine-year-old, and an avid reader. Over the years, writing has helped her explore and understand the world as well as her own self. She loves to travel, meet new people, and spend quality time with her daughter. You can find her on LinkedIn.