The digital age has brought along both opportunities and risks, and it seems that the bad guys are taking advantage of both in order to target innocent people who are simply trying to live their lives. If you want to protect yourself from digital fraudsters, scammers, and spammers, use these four tips shared by Faisal Abidi of RNF Technologies to your advantage as often as possible. You never know what’s around the corner!
1) Use 2-Step Verification To protect yourself from digital fraudsters, scammers, and spammers on social media—as well as any other email accounts you might have—it’s a good idea to enable two-step verification. When you enable two-step verification, in addition to your password (which you provide at login), you will be required to enter a code that is texted or emailed directly to your phone number before logging in.
2) Sign up for text alerts You can protect yourself from scammers, spammers, and fraudsters by signing up for text alerts via your wireless carrier. Many companies offer SMS or text-message warnings when your account is being used in a suspicious way, such as when someone is trying to access it without permission. If you set it up properly, you’ll receive an alert every time one of these unusual transactions occurs.
3) Turn on two-factor authentication To protect yourself from digital fraudsters, it’s important to use two-factor authentication wherever possible. Two-factor authentication requires users to log in with their username and password, plus a special access code. There are a few different ways you can achieve two-factor authentication—it’s most common with Internet banking, but many other websites support it as well. If you don’t already have two-factor authentication turned on, now is a good time to get started.
4) Disable SMS Forwarding If your phone is connected to your Facebook account, you can disable SMS forwarding by going into your Account Settings. Under Mobile, uncheck the box that says Messages and click Save Changes. This will ensure that scam artists don’t have access to both of your communication channels.
How can you avoid online scammers, scams, spams, and frauds? Scams are one of the largest problems that face businesses today, as more and more people turn to the internet to do their shopping, banking, and even dating. Thankfully, there are some simple ways you can protect yourself from digital scammers, spammers, and digital fraud. Recently we talked to Faisal Abidi, Co-founder of RNF Technologies to write this article which will show you five hacks to avoid digital scammers, spammers, and frauds.
Don’t become the next victim
While it’s impossible to prevent being scammed by every scammer on Earth, there are a few simple steps you can take to avoid becoming one of their latest victims. One of these scams is when you receive an email from someone you know asking for money urgently. You might be thinking it’s been hacked – but that isn’t always true.
Create strong passwords
Creating a string of randomly-generated numbers, letters and symbols are essential in avoiding fraud—or at least making it more difficult for an identity thief to crack. This is why security experts advise that you don’t re-use passwords across multiple accounts; instead, create strong passwords for each account that are as different from one another as possible. It also doesn’t hurt to create passwords with a hint of personal relevance.
Use two-factor authentication
Account details can be stolen from a variety of sources—even if you’re using good password hygiene. One of your best weapons against hacking is called two-factor authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to log in with not only your username and password but also another piece of information that only you should know. A text message containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) will get sent to your phone.
Update your software regularly
You should be updating your software regularly. This isn’t just for security reasons; it also means that you are using all of its latest features, including spam filters. Many applications now have spam filtering built-in so that if you don’t recognize an email address or web address in your inbox, it will stop them from reaching your inbox. It’s important to stay up-to-date with whatever program you use in order to make sure it stays working properly.
Lock your accounts when not in use
Most major online accounts have a security setting that allows you to lock your account after a certain amount of time without activity. For example, you can make your Facebook profile go into sleep mode after a week or two of inactivity. Similar settings are available for Twitter profiles.
Never click on links from unknown emails or social posts
If you receive an email or social post that looks odd, it’s probably spam. If you are curious about it, do your research before clicking on any links. Know that legitimate companies have no need to hide their site behind a link—if they don’t trust you enough with their own URL, why should you trust them?
Keep an eye on your online reputation
Understanding your digital reputation is key to protecting yourself from fraud. One way to do so is by watching what others are saying about you online. And while most consumers rely on digital services like Yelp or Angie’s List for that info, online reputation management (ORM) tools offer an effective way of tracking your reputation across thousands of review sites. You should also be using a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you access a public wi-fi connection; hackers use free wifi for all sorts of nefarious activities.
Protect your privacy
You can expect a flurry of spam in your email inbox once you sign up for anything online. Protect your personal information by using different passwords for each account; never tell anyone your passwords (and if someone gets one, change it immediately); and read terms of service agreements before clicking I agree. Take security seriously and don’t be cavalier about it—the more informed you are about phishing scams, hackers, and other threats, the less likely you are to become a victim.
How do you ensure the security of your critical information on the internet? It can be challenging to know how to act when you’re so used to throwing caution to the wind when surfing online. On the one hand, you want to embrace the internet and all of its risks, but on the other hand, you want to protect yourself from fraudsters, scammers, and spammers who want to take advantage of people like you and me. In a webinar, Faisal Abidi and Raghib Khan, Co-Founders of RNF Technologies, shared some helpful ways to keep yourself secure on the internet.
Change your passwords regularly
Hackers have become so sophisticated that they can probably crack most passwords in seconds. So don’t make their job easy by using easily guessed passwords like your pet’s name or birthday. Instead, create a unique password for each account—even similar ones (such as two email accounts you use). To increase security, change passwords often—at least once every six months. Also: don’t share any of your passwords with anyone else; if you need to share an account with someone, create a unique passcode. It will allow them access without giving up control of your account.
Use different passwords for different accounts
Most of us share a small handful of passwords across multiple online accounts. Unfortunately, this is bad news: if you do end up getting hacked or having your account compromised by a spammer, you’re likely going to have big problems on your hands—and it might be hard to determine where exactly everything went wrong. So never reuse passwords for multiple accounts. Instead, opt for a password manager like LastPass (which even lets you generate super-secure passwords) and unique passwords for every account that requires one.
Don’t give out personal information
The easiest way fraudsters can scam you is by getting your personal information. That includes your credit card number, bank account info, or social security number. So don’t give out personal details in any emails you receive – especially if it involves money! If it seems too good to be true or if there are spelling errors in an email, chances are it’s a scammer trying to steal from you.
Avoid links you can’t verify
Never click on a link unless you can verify its legitimacy. Never share your personal or financial information with anyone until you are sure you know who it is. To avoid phishing scams that trick you into handing over your passwords or other sensitive information, ask companies if they will contact you via email instead of asking for it directly—and make sure it’s actually them sending these messages! A little common sense goes a long way to avoid fraudsters.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep yourself extra secure on your accounts. With 2FA enabled on your email, you’ll need your password and a unique code sent via text message to log in. That means if someone does get their hands on your password, they won’t be able to access your account—unless they also have access to your phone.
Report phishing emails
If you’re ever in doubt about an email or get an email that seems out of place, report it. By reporting spam emails, you help others from becoming victims of a phishing scam. To do so, look for a spam button at or near the top of your inbox and push it. This will forward any information found within that message directly to your network provider or provider of choice.
Keep your devices up-to-date
No matter how locked down your passwords are, you’re never completely safe on the web. Scammers often use your data against you by catching out unsuspecting people who aren’t keeping their devices up-to-date. To reduce your risk of online fraud, make sure you install software updates as soon as they’re available; these updates often include critical security patches that help protect against security breaches and malware.
The digital world we live in has grown exponentially in recent years, meaning the chances of becoming a victim of scams, fraud and spam are rising as well. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to minimize your chances of being on the receiving end of one of these terrible experiences. We talked to Faisal Abidi and Raghib Khan, Co-Founders of RNF Technologies to write this helpful guide to learn about how to protect yourself from scams, fraud and spam in the growing digital world.
#1 Shop on sites you know and trust
Online shopping is a great way to save time and money. But all it takes is one malicious website or piece of spam email to put your identity in jeopardy. Before you shop online, research any site you’re considering—and if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure that websites are secure before entering personal information like your address or phone number and look for HTTPS in front of any web addresses that show up in your browser bar.
#2 Be aware of pop-ups
We live in a world with more and more pop-ups. When visiting a website that wants to sell you something or sign you up for something, watch out for extra windows or pop-ups that try to get your attention. Usually, these are scams and frauds.
#3 Don’t click on links in emails you don’t recognize
One of the most popular methods for digital fraudsters is to create an email that looks like it’s from your bank, or another business you use regularly. Since we all get these emails frequently and rarely question them, many people don’t think twice about clicking on a link in one. So unless you have any reason to believe an email is real (you know it came from that specific business) or suspect something might be up, always call a number on your own rather than clicking through a hyperlink.
#4 Change your passwords regularly
Changing your passwords regularly is an essential security practice to help protect yourself from fraud and scams. Hackers are getting smarter and more creative by the day. If you’re serious about protecting yourself, do some research on a reputable password manager—the kind that can generate random alphanumeric strings for all of your logins across websites.
#5 Use multi-factor authentication
One of your first lines of defence is multifactor authentication (MFA). This requires a person to present two things—like a password and another one-time code sent via text message—to access an account. Ideally, you want to use both something you know (your password) and something you have (your phone) when signing into important accounts like email or work documents. Many services offer two-factor authentication; Google Authenticator, Apple’s iCloud Keychain and LastPass are all examples.
#6 Monitor your bank accounts
If you don’t want to get hit with overdraft fees or lose track of your money, monitor your accounts online. Most banks and credit unions have mobile apps that enable you to check balances, pay bills and more right from your phone. Make sure you opt for a password-protected app so no one else can log in without your permission.
#7 Investigate text messages with links
If you’re wary of a text message with a link in it, take your time. Try visiting websites by typing in their web address to see if they match up. If you spot any discrepancies, there’s likely something suspicious about them. This simple step can save you from falling for scams and spam—which cost people over $1 billion every year (according to Norton).
#8 Use an ad blocker
Ad blockers are free programs that stop all ads from showing up on your computer. They also keep your computer safe by blocking malicious pages and dangerous scripts that could hack into your computer. Furthermore, ad blockers eliminate most spam e-mails you receive because spam relies on displaying ads to be successful. If you’re trying to avoid fraud and scams while browsing online, it’s a good idea to install an ad blocker on your computer immediately!
#9 Beware of fake news/social media users
Read and thoroughly research before you buy. No matter what social platform you’re on, make sure you read every little detail of anything that might affect your money. Fake news can quickly take advantage of gullible social media users and send them down a rabbit hole of scams. Don’t be one of them! Be wary if something seems too good to be true; it probably is. If something sounds or looks suspicious—especially if it asks for personal information—it’s likely, not legit.
#10 Don’t install apps unless you need them
Of course, it’s easy to get excited about new apps—especially when you think they’ll save you time or money. Before installing a new app or signing up for any service on your smartphone, however, take a few minutes to check out reviews and read through the terms of service. You can also download an anti-virus app to protect yourself from malware and other unwanted files.