We all like to think we’re a smart bunch.
For the most part we are too! Even the smartest folks, however, can have a weak moment where they end up falling for one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Now you might not be in a critical situation when you lose your schwartz to a scammer, but you could end up putting yourself at risk.
Knowing the ways to avoid scams online now and plugging them into your mind hole will help you at that one critical moment to think twice and ultimately avoid a problem.
So, how to avoid scams online? Let’s get started!
Your Bank Isn’t Going To Send You E-mail Confirmations
?If you do not click on this link within the next 24 hours, we’re going to suspend your account and you won’t have access to your money until the verification process is complete.?
The e-mails all have some form of this threat in them. They look like they’re from your bank. They might even smell like they came from your bank.
When you click on the link, you might even go to a website that looks like your bank’s website.
The problem, however, is that you might have just authorized malware to be installed onto your computer or mobile device.
If you think there really might be a problem with your banking account or your digital wallet, do not go through an e-mail link to figure out the issue.
Go directly to the banking institutions website and log into your account the normal way. Then breathe a sigh of relief because what little cash you do have is still safe.
Don’t Ever, Ever, Ever Give Out Your E-mail Password
You know how you can go to Facebook and input your e-mail address and password to find all your friends that you’ve forgotten to add because you never talk to them? Don’t do it.
The moment you end up authorizing a third party to have access to your e-mail account, you’re opening the door to the 10th gate where spam lives in the world of evil.
You might find a few friends, but you’ll likely send a ton of e-mails to all your friends and end up being unfriended in the long run anyway.
Setting up a POP3 account is different. This is when you set up one e-mail account to read other accounts and bring new e-mails to your attention through your primary e-mail.
This is a time saver, not a spam thing, and something you should have already done.
Use Passwords That People Can’t Figure Out
In a recent episode of the BBC show Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes needs to figure out a computer password. He looks around the office, sees that there is a ton of material related to Margaret Thatcher, and thus the six character password ?Maggie? is figured out.
Now you do not need to necessarily use a password like ?18!RGUSHCDdfsWW%^&^!!? that you’ll never remember, but do not be that person who uses the Druidian Air Shield password of ?12345.?
Be creative, make it something that you can remember, and most of all, make it difficult for someone to guess just by knowing you. That means no home towns, no high school mascots, no family names, and no passwords that are just ?PassWord.?
That E-mail Has a GREAT Deal!
One of the best ways to avoid scams online is to simply delete e-mails. E-mails get people in so much trouble that it’d be laughable if it didn’t happen to everyone at some point.
Some spam seems pretty innocent and some spam is seriously legit. It’s a good product at a reasonable price, and let’s face it, we all need a new bathroom faucet or showerhead every now and again, so why not?
Just because a product seems legit doesn’t mean the website selling it happens to be. If you didn’t solicit for products through e-mail, do not buy products through e-mail ? no matter how good the deal! This is a common way to commit credit card fraud or identity theft.
Be very suspicious of emails and websites from people or companies you don’t know, specifically ones that promise you money, good health or a solution to all your problems. Be just as wary about this type of email or website as you would about a telephone call or letter from an unknown source that makes unusual promises or asks you for personal or financial details. Remember, anything that looks too good to be true usually is.
?I Just Found an Awesome Job On Craigslist!?
When you need to make some fast cash, finding a job anywhere becomes a priority. You’d work at the local dog shelter picking up bags of dog poop if it put food on the table later, right?
Before getting to that point, however, many will cruise Craigslist after cruising Monster or Indeed to see if a job can be found.
Sometimes there are good work offers, but if an employment offers seem to be too good to be true, it is.
You don’t need to purchase anything to apply for a job. You don’t need to send in work samples. You don’t need to give anyone your critical personal information before you get a job offer.
If someone says otherwise, they’re liars! LIARS!
You Don’t Need to Speed Up Your Computer
Did your computer boot up a little slow this morning? Did you just get an advertisement telling you that by cleaning your computer with some magical software, you’ll speed up the computer? And this download is free? AWESOME!
It’s not awesome. Your computer isn’t slow. If it is slow, it’s old ? save up and buy a new one. If your boot up takes a long time, take programs off the automatic boot-up list.
And, most importantly, even if you’re using an Apple computer, use anti-virus software from a legitimate company, not a pop-up. That way you’ll be able to block malware and security breaches proactively instead of reactively.
Although the ways to avoid scams online are varied, they’re all effective because they help you fight off the scams from multiple angles.
You’re not a long lost Nigerian royal. You didn’t magically win an e-mail lottery. Your long lost Aunt Matilda didn’t kick the bucket and leave you millions that you need to send some good faith money to get.
You are, however, a smart, savvy person who works hard to get what you have and you deserve to keep it! Now you will.