With online fraud growing alongside e-commerce, it’s important to understand the different types of scams and how to protect yourself.
Fraudsters often impersonate reputable institutions or people and may ask for personal information (name, address, bank details, email, or phone number). Always question unsolicited calls, texts, or emails before handing over your information.
Use a Strong Password
Using a secure password is among the most efficient strategies to establish protection from fraud. A password is your creation and comprises letters, numbers, and symbols.
Ideally, a strong password is one that no person or computer program can guess and break. It should be at least ten characters long and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and symbols (such as !, #, $, and %).
You should never use your date or place of birth, personal information, or other memorable information as your password. These are considered weak passwords and can be easily broken by hackers.
It would help if you also chose a unique password for every account. This way, if one of your accounts gets hacked, the hacker won’t have access to your other accounts either.
Don’t Share Your Passwords
Don’t share your passwords with anyone; this is one of the best things you can do to safeguard yourself from online fraud. Passwords to your bank account, social networking accounts, and any private data you post online fall under this category.
If you share your passwords, use strong, unique ones that are difficult to guess. And make sure to change your passwords regularly.
Using strong, complex passwords that are hard to remember is especially important. And it is also a good idea to use a different password for each website and application that requires a password.
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Don’t Click on Links in Emails
Clicking links in emails is one of the most typical ways to steal your personal data or bank account information. These scams also referred to as phishing techniques, can be quite harmful.
You may do a few things to avoid this from happening to you. First, always hover your mouse cursor over a link before clicking it to see the complete website address.
The second is to avoid sending emails that contain many different links. This can make your emails look spammy, affecting your messages’ deliverability.
You should also refrain from clicking on email links for several other reasons. For example, hackers can use URL poisoning to alter the URL so it doesn’t look legitimate.
Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi
Using public Wi-Fi can be convenient, but it can also be a big risk. This is especially true if you’re using it for anything that requires personal information, such as checking your bank account or credit card.
Hackers can easily access and steal your data if you’re on an unprotected public Wi-Fi network. They can use this to access your personal information and steal money or identities.
Setting up a fake Wi-Fi hotspot with an identical name to the one you’re using is one of the simplest ways for hackers to accomplish this. By doing this, the cybercriminals who set up the fake hotspot make it simple for victims to join and exchange their data.
Thankfully, there are measures you may take to safeguard yourself against this kind of fraud. For instance, using a virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to public Wi-Fi can make it more challenging for hackers to steal your information. Additionally, it can encrypt your data, making it more difficult for attackers to access.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
It’s no secret that the Internet is full of scam artists, but you can do a few things to make yourself less of a target. One is to think twice about the information you share.
This includes everything from your phone number to what you’re wearing. It’s also important to consider what you share in person, especially in a public space. One of the most important steps to protect yourself from online fraud is not giving out personal information. This includes your bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.
Criminals can use this information to hack your identity and steal your money, open lines of credit in your name, drain your bank accounts and commit crimes. They may even set up businesses in your name to scam people, tarnishing your reputation and damaging your business relationships.
Social media is a terrific platform for self-promotion, but you should exercise caution about how much of yourself you reveal there. Sharing personally identifiable information (PII) like your social security number, driver’s license photo, or DOB is especially problematic.
If you’re asked to disclose PII, ask the requesting party if they need this information, and disclose it selectively. This is also a good practice for the rest of your personal information, including your home address, telephone number, and email address. Keeping track of what you’re telling others will help prevent predators from cobbling together your details to find out where you live and who you are.