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How To Protect Yourself And Your Family From Online Scams

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Online scams are prevalent risks in the Internet community. The AARP reported that 13.1 million people in the United States fell victim to online scams. An online scammer doesn’t leave any user unturned—their next victim might become you, your spouse, your children, or your grandparents. To protect your family members from these online scams, here are the things you need to know.

What Are The Common Online Scams

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  • Phishing Scams

A phishing scam involves the use of an email designed to look like a legitimate e-commerce or banking email. It is intended to trick an unsuspecting person to click a fraudulent website (which seems similar to the original site) where they are asked to enter their vital banking information. This information gets sent to the scammer who will either wipe the victim’s account or steal their identity.

  • Lottery Winning Scams

This scam attempts to trick an unsuspecting person in sending their vital banking information by announcing that they won a lottery.

  • Grandparent Scams

In a grandparent scam, the scammer calls the unsuspecting person and pretends to be the latter’s grandchild. The scammer will then tell that they’re in an emergency and need financial assistance. The scammer may ask to send money at a specific bank account or ask for vital banking information.

  • Scareware Scams

Scareware scams involve a message stating that a user will need to purchase a “full version” of software to get rid of viruses. If the user installs this “full version,” they will install horde viruses and malware that will steal information from your device. Users often get this scareware scam when they have downloaded a fake antivirus software.

  • Greeting Card Scams

In greeting card scams, an unsuspecting user receives a greeting card email from a scammer who purports to be a family member or friend. This email usually has a link to view the greeting card but leads to a page that downloads Trojan viruses.

How To Protect Your Loved Ones From Online Scams

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  • Educate Your Family Members

To protect your family from a scam, first, they’ll need to know what it is. Have your family members read an introductory guide about scams in their free time. If you have young children or elders using the Internet, you might want to talk to them about online scams personally.

  • Only View Emails That You Trust

Emails are common routes where scammers penetrate their victims, so you’ll need to keep a lookout on your emails. If you see a suspicious email sent by an alleged friend or bank corporation, check the email address. Scammers use email addresses that almost look like the original email, but with extra numbers or characters. If the email is not one you recognized, delete the message immediately.

It goes the same way with your family members. Along with teaching your family about scams, you will also need to remind them not to open suspicious and unverified emails. Advise them to delete unrecognized and unverified emails.

  • Use Strong Passwords And Two-Factor Authentication

Webservice providers often recommend using complex passwords such as “passphrases.” As the name implies, “passphrases” are short phrases used as passwords. It can be in the form of “cats are cute” to “I eat breakfast.”

“Passphrases” are good passwords because, one, these passwords are hard to guess. And two, users find it easy to remember. Moreover, “passphrases” are customizable for each person, so it’s highly unlikely that two persons have the same “passphrase.”

Aside from “passphrases,” security professionals recommend the use of the two-factor authentication mode in the verification of accounts. In the two-factor authentication mode, you receive a confirmation message in your email or number whenever you log into your account. Only if you have verification will you be able to access your account.

Two-factor authentication is a great way to verify your account because it offers another layer of security to your account. As a result, hackers and scammers find it challenging to access and hijack your account.

  • Turn Off WiFi Setting In Phone When Not in Use

Always remind your family member to turn their WiFi Settings to off when not in use. Research studies have shown that several WiFi networks aren’t secure because they do not encrypt a user’s data. Any scammer or hacker can quickly drop into a system and swoop in to steal your data. Unless you and your family are using a private connection, always turn the WiFi settings off when not in use.

  • Communicate With Your Family

But, most importantly, your family should coordinate with each other regarding suspicious activity in your emails and accounts. Speedy communication will help you and your family to respond to a scam incident if it happens to your family.

In a Nutshell

Online scams may be prevalent, but you can easily prevent them. Keep your family protected by educating them with necessary cybersecurity information and preventative measures.


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