Cyber Security: Online Scams

Importance of cyber security due to increasing online scams

We live in a time when the usage of internet has reached its heights and has become an important part of our daily life. Thus, we truly and honestly like to believe that the world of internet is a secure place, but the reality speaks to the contrary. It is essential to get a reality check regarding it from time to time to realize how unsafe, it can be to share your most personal and sensitive information on or through the internet.

Cyber criminals can reach us at our homes and offices to get their hands on our most confidential information very easily today as compared to a few years before. And there is not much that can be done about it. These criminal minds use different attack tools and tactics and target the vulnerabilities that are present in almost all software and apps. These scams are, most of the times, deployed from the parts of the world where justice isn’t easily served, and it is nearly impossible to catch these malicious actors.

Therefore, it is important for all of us to get familiar with the tools and techniques that are being used by these perpetrators to access our private or financial information. One thing must be kept in mind that these malicious actors want to, somehow, get their hands on our money, and this is their only purpose. They are ready to go to any lengths to achieve this goal.

Below are mentioned the most common types of Online Scams that we all must be really careful about:

Malicious Emails/Phishing

Malicious emails or phishing scams are the most common type of techniques used by cyber criminals. People are sent phishing emails with malicious attachments. The study reports that these emails are responsible for one-third of all the security incidents that occur on the internet. Thus, it must be considered as a very big threat for users as well as organizations.

Phishing scams are also kind of a similar thing in which communication means such as emails or social platforms are used by cyber criminals. They send users, malicious messages or emails to trick them into providing sensitive or confidential data.

These emails look like they have been sent from some e-commerce site, financial institutions, government agencies, or other kinds of businesses. They want you to act very quickly by making the excuses that either any of your account is in danger, some order has not been fulfilled or any other urgent thing to address.

They use social engineering techniques to convince you on clicking onto a link that directs you to a website that looks legitimate but actually is not. It mostly redirects you to a fake, but very similar login page, and if you are not paying close attention, you will end up losing your login credentials or other personal data.

If, at any point in time, you have a doubt that certain email might be spam; it is advised to first verify it before giving any kind of response. This can be done by looking for the authentic email address of the company on the internet and directly contacting them through it.

The Nigerian Scam

The Nigerian scam is a very popular security breaching technique that took roots in Nigeria. This type of scams includes sending a very emotional or heart-breaking message/email to users in which the cyber-criminals have written a very heart-felt story regarding how they urgently need some money in order pay initial fees or settle some legal disputes. They, in return, offer you a huge amount of money in some time. This is a trap that you must not fall into. They will provide with you papers, which make it look real, and you might even believe them very easily.

Greeting Card

On occasions like Christmas and Easter, we usually receive greeting cards on our emails by our loved ones or certain organizations. But we do not realize that these greeting cards can also be used by malicious actors to get hands-on our personal or sensitive data.

What happens here is that on clicking the greeting card, a malicious software start downloading on our computer, and it automatically launches itself. On the successful installation of this software, our PC becomes a part of a huge network controlled by IT criminals, and it starts sending our sensitive data to them from time to time.

Credit Card or Bank Loan

Sometimes the cyber criminals use bank loan scams to get their hands on your private financial data. They offer huge amounts of pre-approved loans to the users to trick them into providing their personal information. These offers are mostly too good to be true. Thus, one must think before responding to such emails that how is it even possible for a bank to offer such a huge loan without even checking one’s financial position. It does not make any sense. People do not usually fall for such traps, but it is still a tactic used by criminal minds that have caused data breaches and financial loss on a smaller level.

Facebook Impersonation Scams

Facebook is a very popular social media website and is used by millions and billions of people to connect to their loved ones on a daily basis. But unfortunately, the scammers have started using it as another means to target people.

Facebook Impersonation is a technique used by malicious actors in which they hack your personal Facebook account to get information regarding your family and friends. Thus, it has become important to protect your Facebook account, similar to how you make sure that your bank accounts are protected enough.

These are only a few tools and techniques used by online scammers and malicious actors to inject malware into your PC or get their hands on your personal data. Online dating scams, travel scams, and fake antivirus software are a few more. It has become very easy to get trapped and lose your personal and financial information to such tactics. Thus, it is time we start realizing that the Internet is not a secure place and we must not believe everything we read.

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