All of us can become victims of online scams. How to protect oneself against attacks of cybercriminals and not to lose money?
Cybercrime is a well-organised business targeted at earning money by means of increasingly refined dishonest methods. Nowadays, despite many state-of-the-art securities, an entry threshold for the practice is very low. What are the main threats in the cyberspace? How to protect oneself against them?
Cybercrimes are as old as the very Internet and are developing at a similarly dynamic rate. Everyone can become a victim at the least expected moment. Usually the attack involves stealing personal data, bank account numbers, logins and passwords. One of the examples is sending false invoices with a modified bank account number. What is more, a message can be sent from an email address confusingly similar to the one of our contractor’s.
Phishing on Facebook is a very popular form of stealing money. The rule is simple: a scammer pretending to be your friend sends you a link to false websites or asks you to transfer a small sum of money. It is also worth paying attention to messages containing information on winning a competition that we have not participated in or testing services which in fact are chargeable.
Cybercriminals very often impersonate popular institutions and companies, encouraging to visit their websites. False messages are simply flooding recipients’ mailboxes. This communication channel is a perfect place for cybercriminals’ attacks. This is why we should be particularly careful when using our electronic mail. First of all, we should pay attention to an email address of the sender, e.g. a bank, with a spelling mistake and do not download any attachments from unknown senders. Instead of opening a link included in the message, it is better to enter the domain name directly in the browser. It is also worth being careful when we get an email asking us to confirm subscription if we do not know a given page and have not subscribed there.
Push notifications (web push notification), which we opt in for from the website level, are a completely safe alternative. In the event of web push notification there is no need to provide such data as telephone number or email address.
When buying through auction platforms or online stores we should check seller’s reliability. While large websites are rather trustworthy and have relevant securities, smaller online stores may not be credible. It is worth checking before the purchase if the company really exists and possibly call the given telephone number.
Perhaps the most frequent mistake that we make is using the same simple passwords to various accounts. However, remembering many complicated sequences of symbols may be challenging. Using a password manager is a good solution here. Owing to this we will have to remember only one main password – preferably long with capital and small letters, symbols and numbers. A two-factor authentication is a very good idea. It will make access to our account impossible even if a criminal knows the password.