7 Best Tips to Protect Yourself from Online Scams – 2022

Hello, my dear friend, I hope you are doing great. In this write-up, I’ll share some tips and advice with you on how you can protect yourself from online scams. Online transaction systems have made it easy for consumers and online shoppers to purchase items and complete significant digital investments.

Today, people can purchase products online, pay for them, and click a button to finish the transaction. You can conduct all of these tasks from anywhere and at any time, as long as you have an internet connection and a device to help you finish these jobs.

Protect Yourself from Online Scams

However, you should be aware of online transactions because one incorrect click or trusting the wrong individual may jeopardize your online security. Online scams have been rising exponentially online, particularly in recent times, making safety and vigilance essential when making transactions.

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Protect Yourself From Online Scams

The 2020 FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center Report states that consumers lost $4.2 billion due to online fraud. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s data shows that as of February 2022, consumers in the country lost $75.5 million because of online scams, totaling $75.5 million.

Knowledge is power, and being armed with knowledge about how to defend yourself and your digital belongings from dishonest scammers can keep you safe. In this article, I’ll tell you about the most popular precautions you can take to defend yourself from online con artists.

#1. Browse Only Secure and Authorized Sites

The best way to avoid being scammed online is to only browse through trustworthy and legitimate websites. “How can I tell whether a website I am visiting is genuine or not?” There are several trust indicators that help you determine whether a website is trustworthy.

It should be simple to recognize whether or not you’re visiting an HTTPS website, rather than an HTTP one. You should verify the website link is HTTPS before you click on it. You should avoid browsing through HTTP websites as much as possible, as they may lead you directly to the scammers’ doors. 

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Protect Yourself from Online Scams

The only reason you should be browsing through HTTPS websites is because of the simple explanation as to why this is the case. Using SSL certificates to encrypt the communication between your browser and the web servers is what enables HTTPS.

An SSL certificate is issued by a certificate authority, a legitimate organization. SSL certificates are part of cyber security policy and guidelines.

Before issuing an SSL certificate, a CA must first perform due diligence to ensure the website and the individual or organization requesting the certificate are reputable. The CA will not provide the certificate if he or she has doubts about the website’s authenticity.

Scammers and fraudsters can’t obtain SSL certificates because of the strict certification issuance process. Any website owner that wants to keep their users safe should obtain a cheap SSL certificate from CheapSSLShop to authenticate their legitimacy and improve security through encryption. Because of its low cost, CheapSSLShop is the world’s most economical SSL certificate provider.

#2. Keep your System and Software Updated

Malware and viruses can infiltrate your network if you have vulnerable software or operating systems. Scammers may trick you into downloading links or attachments that would cause your system to crash through phishing attacks by distributing malware. Old software and operating systems are not well-suited to detect and prevent such malware attacks.

It is crucial to keep your device and software up to date to maintain your security. These new versions come with enhanced security features and patches that address old vulnerabilities. Online scammers can exploit your software if it is not updated. 

It is highly recommended to install the updates as soon as they are tested and released. In addition to relieving you of the burden of performing manual updates, setting up automatic updates may also assist you a lot.

#3. Be aware of Phishing Scams

According to the 2022 Proofpoint State of Phish Report, 83% of organizations were victimized by phishing attacks in 2021. Phishing scams are the most common method used by deceitful criminals to fool victims into giving up their confidential information. 

A phishing attack was identified as being responsible for 25% of all cybersecurity breaches, according to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report. Attackers craft a compelling message that encourages you to download an attachment or click on a link.

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Protect Yourself from Online Scams

Always double-check the email sender before clicking on the link or downloading the attachment to ensure you do your due diligence. It would also be helpful if you were armed with the signs that would enable you to detect phishing scams. 

Phishing scams are usually sent from public email domains, which may contain misspelled domain names, poorly written messages, and messages that create a sense of urgency, for example. These are some of the red flags you should look out for when spotting a phishing email.

#4. Protect your Device from online scams

The exponential rise in data breaches and online scams we are experiencing today makes it important to protect our computers, networks, and gadgets with security infrastructure. Antimalware software, for instance, can prevent viruses from being injected into your network by scammers.

It’s also crucial to keep your software up-to-date. You should also have a firewall to prevent malicious traffic from reaching your network. You may use anti-spam and anti-spyware software to protect your network from online criminals, among other infrastructures.

#5. Keeping your Login Credentials Safe

Login credentials are the most sought pieces of information that scammers want to get hold of. Anyone on the internet asking you to share such sensitive information is a scammer. Ensure you securely store this information by memorizing it.

Scammers who get hold of such information can use it to complete transactions that could harm your digital resources. Also, adhering to the best password practices could help you stay safe from online fraud.

To boost your authentication security, employing the multi-factor authentication technique is highly recommended. With multi-factor authentication, even when a scammer gets hold of your login credentials, your accounts remain safe because the scammer cannot access the extra authentication factor.

Here I’m attaching a video of UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) on keeping your password safe. It will be very helpful for you to keep your login credentials safe to protect yourself from online scams.

#6. Confirm site Legitimacy

Before entering into any deal with someone online, you must first confirm their legitimacy. And what other better way to do that other than making a call, visiting their physical location, or sending an email? 

Legitimate websites must provide contact information. Again, providing working contact information is different from providing contact information. The absence of contact information is yet another sign that you might be dealing with a con artist.

It may be a warning sign if you are unable to contact the website owners using the contact information. Some of the contact information that legitimate websites provide includes; email addresses, phone numbers, social media account profiles, and physical locations. 

Before entering into any deal with the business, using this information to enquire more about the business will help you stay away from online scams.

#7. Checking Public Reviews and Feedback

Another excellent method you can employ to remain safe from online scammers is to check out the online reviews and feedback on the website. The first red flag that might indicate that the website is a scam is when it lacks public reviews and feedback.

Secondly, too many negative reviews and unresolved complaints posted by previous customers and clients could also be enough reason to imply that the website is a scammer. Ensure you avoid entering into any form of transaction with a website that has several negative reviews.

Conclusion

Because of online scammers, the internet has been taken over and is running amok. Victims of online fraud lose millions of dollars in resources every year. You must educate yourself about and utilize some of the most successful methods to protect yourself from online scams. This article has provided you with the best ways to stay secure online. It’s vital to apply multiple precautions to increase your internet security. That’s it for now, I hope you’ll remember these points and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from online scams.

You may also like: Email Spoofing Tutorial 2022 – Detect & Prevent Email Spoofing Attacks

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