Scams and hoaxes are becoming increasingly popular online. You need to be aware of emails and websites that look suspicious as they can harm your computer, and also put your security at risk. Scammers are constantly upping their game to make websites look more realistic, therefore it is important that you know how to avoid them. This article provides four simple tips that will help you to avoid scams online.
Beware of any emails that you receive from people that you don’t know. One of the most popular techniques used to scam people is to send out enticing emails in order to get people to give out personal information. This process is known as Phishing. These types of email will often claim that you have won some sort of lottery prize or that you are entitled to some compensation. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. You can do a Google search on the name of the sender of the email, or check some of the reputable and secure .gov websites to see the latest scams that are going around.
Opening Attachments and Downloading
You should only ever download anything from reputable sources that you know and trust. Scammers can insert programs into your downloads which can be used to capture your personal details.
The same applies for email attachments. You should still be careful even when opening attachments from people that you know, as scammers can send emails that appear to come from friends and family.
There is a range of software on the market that protects you from scams and alerts you when there is a security risk on your computer. This can include antivirus and antispyware software and firewall. Once you have installed these pieces of software you will need to update them regularly. A computer specialist will be able to take a look at your computer and install the correct security programs for you.
Never, ever send any financial information over email. If your account is hacked this can be picked up and used by scammers. Banks and building societies will never ask for your information over email, so if you receive any email asking for it you should definitely avoid responding. Most email providers have a button which allows you to report spam emails. Make sure that you alert them and delete the message to help prevent it from spreading.
If you follow the above tips you should stay safe and avoid scams and hoaxes online. Remember these hackers and scammers are continuously coming up with new and innovative ways to scam Internet users, so beware when providing any financial information or downloading attachments. If you suspect that you have a virus or other computer issue then you will need to contact a computer repair specialist as soon as possible. They will have the tools and knowledge to be able to remove any malware from your computer, plus they can install the correct anti-virus software for you.