The internet is now an integral part of our daily lives: it has become as crucial to every aspect of life as food is. The internet has revolutionized work, child care, entertainment, and even keeping in touch. This increased use has also led to many new risks coming into our world: it has become a critical task to detect and mitigate various online risks and associated security problems. This article will be speaking about online security while also sharing methods to protect from frauds and scams.
In a study published by the University of Maryland, every 30 seconds, an online crime takes place within the USA. Another study reported that every one in three US citizens had been affected by online crimes every year. During the recently passed worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a massive increase in online crimes. This increase is linked to the fact that nearly all firms moved their business activities onto an online space due to worldwide shutdowns. The internet became a crucial factor in allowing people to work and entertain themselves. Deloitte has reported that online crimes which used video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, etc., globally affected half a million users from February to May of 2021.
One of the main types of scams is the Phishing Scam. This is very common while also being very detrimental to a business. This article will focus on frauds, scams, and phishing scams due to the frequency of their use to defraud users.
How to avoid being a victim of online scams
To protect oneself from online scams, you need to take a few measures:
- Choose an internet service provider who can offer various security features, including complimentary and paid-for security suites, which protect the high-speed internet and TV connections such as what you get with Xfinity. For reference purposes, contact Xfinity customer service and find out how it has one of the best security profiles.
- Always use websites claiming to use secure socket layers that are easily identified by an address that begins with HTTPS, meaning it is going to be safe for use.
- Be cautious in sharing personal data on any social media platform, including sharing intimate and private information on media: this can result in someone stealing your identity.
- Activate a VPN whenever you’re using public Wi-Fi.
- Report any suspicious activities you notice.
A most common form of online crime – phishing, is when an attacker takes on the pretend cover of a trustworthy source to dupe people into sharing their private and sensitive information. Phishing is sometimes known as the “socially engineered” online crime: it simply takes a “genuine” sounding email, website, or advertisement to dupe users to share their information. The most commonly used method is that of emails.
Emails. Email phishing is the process that happens when the attacker creates and sends emails that masquerade as trustworthy sources to fool the user and gain access to sensitive data. The most common ways include asking to update information on important things such as banking details or even workplace update requests.
Spear. This type of phishing selects and targets victims. Spear phishing can be very difficult to detect because the email content has been explicitly tailored to the user and convinces users to click on links.
Whaling. This type of phishing is aimed at high-profile figures, usually higher management or political members.
Smishing. This method uses the same concept of phishing except in text messages.
Vishing. This is phishing, which takes place using mobile phone devices. Vishing uses phone calls or voice messages to gain access to personal information from victims.
In a world increasingly dependent on the internet and internet devices, phishing scams have been and will continue to be a growing problem. These scams have been designed to sneakily steal your personal information, including sensitive passwords and credit card details. To protect yourself, you need to be diligent and ensure that you are sharing sensitive information only to correct and authentic sources. Also, remember to subscribe to internet service providers like Xfinity internet, who care about your data privacy.