From conducting business, shopping or simply staying in touch with friends, nearly everything can be done via the internet. Unfortunately, scammers try to collect sensitive data from your web activities to use for their own purposes. In this article, you will learn which methods scammers often use, and what precautions you can take to avoid losing sensitive data.
This method of data theft made enormous headlines last year. Two types are common:
Mail is sent in the name of a well-known company such as a bank, internet provider or online shop. Recipients are prompted to “update” their data, such as address or account information, by clicking on a link. Both the mail and the page behind the link look deceptively genuine, but they only serve to steal your data.
Dunning letters inform recipients of allegedly outstanding invoices and threaten dunning fees and legal consequences. Details about debt or invoices are allegedly included in an attachment, but these files usually contain viruses that not can steal your data and harm your PC.
Tip: If you are receiving email that seems strange, check the website of your bank or online provider for instructions on how to proceed when you forget your password. If you are unsure, ask customer service. It can also help to do a quick internet search for the sender or email subject. Search results can often reveal if the email is spam. Still in doubt? Just keep your hands off.
“Congratulations! You are the 1 millionth visitor of this website. Click here to claim your prize!” It’s not uncommon for pop-up notifications like these to appear on a website, but don’t be fooled—you’ve won nothing.
These notifications are only meant to collect your data to sell it or use it for criminal purposes.
This type of download occurs without the knowledge or consent of the user. By clicking on a button or opening a website, viruses or other types of malicious software are downloaded automatically. Before you notice that a download has begun, it is usually already too late and the malicious file appears on your computer. In order to avoid damage, it is important to have installed reliable anti-virus software and update your browser on a regular basis. Make sure you know what you are clicking on and which files you are downloading or opening. Cybercriminals are only waiting to harm internet users. Protect your IT infrastructure against such attacks, especially for small businesses and the self-employed; cyber-attacks can quickly compromise your online presence.
By Willy Liambi