Here's some great advice by a fellow Activerain'er Gary Woltal about keeping it safe on the internet. Thanks Gary.
There is no question cybercrime is on the upswing. WHY these people who either try to hack our various accounts, steal our credit card or personal information, or install malware or spyware on our devices for nefarious purposes it is either deviousness or just robbery for money. Anyway make passwords ten characters or longer with numbers and symbols and capital letters, change them often, put them everywhere including your phone to avoid theft problems.
But as an FYI here are nine internet scams to keep you top of mind of these people trying to irritate your daily life:
- Fake prizes, sweepstakes, gifts, lottery scams. There is no free pizza. Think if something is too good to be true, and you are not even a customer of the business or wanted to be on their email list, just hit delete.
- Phishing/Spoofing emails. It looks like something came from Bank of America or Chase, but HEY you do not even have an account there despite their nice logo and signature block. DELETE. No one will ask for your passwords or social security number that is legitimate.
- Fake arrest warrant, court appearance, or government prosecution scam. The FBI may show up at your door but they won't be sending you "emails" scaring you. Delete again.
- Click-Bait scams. They lure you with celebrity news, images, fake media footage, the cute cat video. Click in NO links or images. Again delete. They want to load viruses.
- Fake email addresses. They are CLOSE to legitimate but off a few letters or adding in some dots. LOOK at the details closely even if you are not a good detailed person.
- Fake emails. They have poor spelling, poor capitlization, poor grammar. Probably overseas originators. Delete.
- Social Engineering manipulation. The troublemakers READ around on you and try to guess your answers to security questions for online accounts. Don't divulge anything that is privileged information to any "friends" and be aware of the type of profile you are showing to the world. Don't click on all those personality tests on Facebook.
- Spear phishing. This is "targeted" within one company phishing. Like human resources wants you to validate your internal password, or needs to verify you social security number with your company's logo in the email. It is fake hitting everyone in the organization. Whaling targets top executives across industries and surprisingly a lot have fallen for giving up sensitive information.
- Craig's List Scams. Used like for work at home ideas where you become a transfer agent using your bank accounts to money launder and transfer money through. You're winning cause you are promised to get a cut of the money but this is ILLEGAL and is used heavily with wire fraud. Do not deal with people you do not know. Craig's list people also counterfeit organization's checks for small under $2,000 amounts that the FBI does not want to deal with, so know WHO you are dealing with.
In summary, be cautious of any requests for sensitive information via email. Pay attention to site's URL and emails closely. Gmail and Hotmail are hacked the most so you might want other email providers. Hold your cursor over links to ensure the URL is correct. Deploy security patches in a timely manner. Create strong passwords and never give them out.