With so much of our lives online and on our phones, in today’s society, it’s understandable that many consumers worry about getting their data stolen.
While it’s easy to reduce the chances of data being taken by hackers by choosing anti-virus protection for your devices and trying to be safe online, there are many ways that criminals can gain access to your details.
In some cases, you might even find that you hand over your own information if you get conned into doing so by a charismatic thief.
Scams are on the rise right now, and during the pandemic, they were incredibly common, with more than £34.5 million stolen from unsuspecting individuals during this time.
As cybercriminals get smarter, you need to make sure that you understand the nature of common scams and how you can avoid them. Keep reading and we’ll offer some practical tips for modern consumers.
Remember That The Number Or Email Might Not Be Genuine
When you get a call or an email, it’s easy to think that the name given by your device is the correct one. However, that’s not always the case. Cybercriminals are skilled at cloning phone numbers and email addresses, so you should always check that the destination of the message or phone call is legitimate before you discuss any sensitive topics or hand over any private information. Sites such as WhoCalledYou can reveal the true destination of a phone call in the UK and give you the peace of mind that you know where the call is coming from.
Choose Your Websites Carefully
It’s not just emails and calls that you need to be wary of: scammers can also clone websites and make them look like the site of a popular brand, so that you’ll spend money on fake goods or items that don’t exist. As such, you need to make sure that you are smart when you’re shopping online, and that you always check the URL. If something looks odd about it, then leave the site and run a scan with your anti-virus software immediately. Check out the brand’s official social media pages to find the genuine site. If the brand is small and you’re not sure if it’s legitimate or not, then read reviews online to see if others have been scammed while using their site. You can then make an informed decision that reduces your chances of being defrauded.
Keep Your Software And Anti-Virus Tools Up To Date
Software tools that you use regularly, such as internet browsers and payment apps, need to be updated as soon as a new version is ready. If you don’t keep your software up to date, then it might have security gaps that scammers can use to access your device and potentially give you information that makes you believe that their lies are legitimate. Anti-virus software also needs to be updated and you should scan your devices every few days to ensure that you are safe when you browse and shop online.
Stay Informed About The Latest Cyber And Phone Scams
Criminals evolve and adapt their processes regularly, so every time the public wises up to one scam, they’ve already moved onto another. That’s why it’s vital that you stay up to date with the latest scams out there and that you keep yourself informed about how others are being targeted. You’ll then have a better chance of spotting a scam if you encounter one. Use a fraud reporting tool, such as the Police’s Action Fraud, to find out about the newest scams that have been reported and always stay one step ahead of the latest tricks that criminals are using.