You must have heard of the movie “How The Grinch stole the Christmas,” it is not Christmas already but festive season where cyber criminals who are out to steal your financial data and privacy online. It is the time when many online scams happen. The worst part is that everyday something or the other turns up online that is tempting enough to get engaged in it and go for it. What is most required is being vigilant against these cyber criminals, scammers and online Grinch who are there to steal your data.
The most used tricks that are played upon majority of people online includes scams related to e-mail attachments, search results containing greeting cards, shipping documents, social media postings and other such tricks. However if you have decided that enough is enough then you need to first understand how to avoid it. Here are a few pointers to avoid online scams the easy way.
Things to watch out for:
• You need to keep an eye on the latest deals and offers that are provided online. Not that these are necessarily going to be a scam but it is always essential to watch out for it. You must beware of anything that says holiday cards, holiday gift cards, photos, holiday coupon and other festive offers that you receive on your e-mail. When you receive e-mail with these attachments or subject lines you need to be careful as these lead to Trojans and malware infection. These are well-designed scams to steal your bank information.
• If you are thinking of checking out the link it is better not to actually access it by clicking it. The best thing you can do is to type the web address of the retailer. To follow the e-mail links by an online retailer can be misleading and malicious. Another thing to keep in mind is not to be deluded by pop-up ads as many of these lead to fraudulent websites.
• Another most interesting fact is that if you are using a debit card for online purchases then there are chances that you might get into fraudulent transactions. It is advisable that you use a credit card as it has its own limits for extending maximum credit, better would be to use a credit card with lowest credit limit.
• Do not forget to check the URL in the browser before accessing the website. If you want to be safe then check for https extension before any web address especially for transaction purpose.
• If you receive an e-mail without asking about a specific deal or without subscription then the links and the deals can be fake. It is better to find out if the sender is authentic to determine the e-mail is real or fake.
• If you are on a social media website then you need to be careful in clicking links that appear there. These are malicious and harmful as it is always easy to post short links and transfer them through e-mails. This is the reason you receive e-mails with malicious links and shortened URLs.
• It is always great to have an updated security suite and all the security patches installed on your system. It prevents you from getting infected and the security patches are always apt for preventing any new online threat to enter your system.
• If you are in a habit of making online transactions then it is better to use a dedicated system or a desktop for it. A secured desktop that is used for carrying out your online transactions will be more safe to handle. Remember, not to use it for casual e-mails, downloads, or web surfing purpose.
• It is advisable to keep a close eye on every transaction that you are carrying out online through your bank statements on regular basis. The online or credit card activity is the best way to keep a track on transactions and avoid any online threat.
• When you are installing a software then it is essential to be wary of the source from which you are about to install the software. Things like spyware tools, accelerators and other such tools that talk about enhancing internet speed or other such tempting offers should be scrutinized before taking any action.
• You need to remember that any pop-up or free software is a trick used by hacker to get into your system.
• If you receive any e-mail or message that says your parking token or a banking certificate is about to expire then it might be a fraud. It is better to seek enquiry directly from the authority or financial institution. Better call and ask about the e-mail and you will get your answer.
Keeping all the above-mentioned pointers in mind will help you get past the online Grinch and frauds on this festive season.