Every year, millions of unsuspecting people fall victim to scams online. Fraudsters can cause irreparable damage to your bank balance, your reputation, and your life.
Stay Alert When Browsing the Internet
Internet fraud is on the rise. Stats platform, Statista, has noted a sharp spike in the instances of cybersecurity fraud in 2020. A significant increase of around 60% is anticipated over the next 12 months, based on an August 2020 survey of Global Fraud Examiners.
While respondents anticipate an increase in malware, adware, Trojans, phishing, pharming, and viruses, we are not powerless in this process.
The most frequently reported crimes in 2019 were Pharming, Smishing, Vishing, and Phishing, followed by a distant second of non-delivery and non-payment. Extortion comes in third, followed by personal data breaches, spoofing, BEC/EAC confidence fraud, and romantic fraud.
What Steps Can You Take to Guard Against Dangerous Websites?
Without sounding alarmist, it is absolutely imperative to adopt a go-safe policy when you browse the web. This is easier said than done for many people. Fortunately, there are some powerful tools and web-based applications available to users.
One such option is known as MyWOT (Web of Trust). This downloadable app is readily available to users at the Google Play Store and the App Store.
Rated E for everyone, WOT is one of the most efficient tools on the market. It uses crowd-driven technology to immediately identify potentially unsafe websites by red-flagging them. Users don’t need to worry about infections from these websites – since they have already been identified as unsafe by a database comprising millions of WOT users around the world.
Some of the many benefits of this app include Wi-Fi scanning and constant website scanning. Users get to enjoy advanced app features such as Wi-Fi protection for all networks, real-time scanning of files, folders, and applications, the provision of website security data, parental controls for content deemed unsuitable for minors, and a host of security protection measures that are the envy of competitors.
Thanks to some 140 million+ website ratings, users at MyWOT can automatically download and install this app, and let it automatically take care of business (TCB). With a rating of 4.6/5 from 1,918+ users at the Google Play Store, MyWOT really works.
Other Top-Tier Options to Protect against Dangerous Websites
- Update your operating system software and enable automatic updates. Whether you’re using Apple products or Windows products, be sure to keep your files updated at all times.
- Install powerful antivirus software, and keep it updated. You may wish to include malware detectors as add-ons on your browser, pop-up blockers, perhaps even VPNs, and The Onion Router. Some programs may not be compatible with one another, so bear that in mind.
- If you are using a Wi-Fi network, be sure to secure your connection. Never use an unsecured (public) Wi-Fi network while you’re conducting online banking, e-commerce operations, or sending an email. It’s simply not safe.
Before you click on a random URL, pop-up message, email message, or text message, pause. Chances are there is no long- lost relative wanting to bequeath you a ton of money, or a windfall deposit from the Prince of Abu Dhabi, or an erroneous deposit from Bank of America, Citibank, or Wells Fargo to the tune of millions of dollars. Common sense goes a long way towards guarding against the advances of fraudsters.
The Federal Trade Commission Advises Users to Stay Vigilant
According to FTC.gov (Federal Trade Commission), there are several tell-tale signs that cyber fraud is about to take place. These include the following:
- There is a problem that you need to deal with, or there is a prize that you need to claim.
- Con artists always want to give you something for free or disburse payments to you, but they always need personal, sensitive information from you in order to transfer the funds.
- The scam artists impersonate friends, family, colleagues government agencies, or businesses. Sophisticated technology allows these fraudsters to call you from fake phone numbers, con you via SMS, and redirect you through dangerous websites.
- Whenever fraud is about to take place at a website, you will always feel pressured to act. This sense of urgency (IRS calls that you’re about to be audited, collection agencies claiming you owe substantial sums of money or a long-lost relative who died and the executor of his estate desperately needs to get in touch with you).
There are many ironclad options you can employ to protect yourself from these nefarious advances. Report all scam emails, delete them, and block the senders. If you accidentally delete a legitimate email from a creditor, don’t worry they will find ways to get in touch with you again. There are hard and fast rules in place which prevent companies from conning their customers.
For example, your bank will never ask you for your account number, or your Social Security number via email. If you suspect a website is acting improperly, call it in immediately. Report the website to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or even the police.
Never allow anyone – business or private – to bully you into relinquishing personal, sensitive information online. Prevention is better than cure.