It is important to be aware of phishing and scamming, especially during the holidays. With holiday shopping, it can make anyone vulnerable to being scammed, especially when there are false advertisements on too-good-to-be-true deals. We have created a list that will give you examples of scamming, ways to prevent being a victim of being scammed, and a few reminders on how to be safe with online shopping and having your finances online.
This is not a complete list of ways to avoid being scammed, however, these are some of the most important tricks and tips to remember when trying to avoid being conned.
Update your personal devices
Make sure to keep all your devices updated with any new upgrades they may need. When your phone or computer is available for an upgrade, make sure to do so!
Connect to know networks
When connecting to Wi-Fi, only connect to a known network. If you connect to a network you are unsure of, this can be an easy way for hackers to get into your account(s), especially if your account(s) are unsecure. A network may be suspicious if the name has typos or extra characters.
When creating passwords, DO NOT use the same password for all your accounts. I know that it is convenient to do this, so you won’t forget your password, but a criminal would then have access to all of your accounts. It is much more secure for you if you have a variety of passwords. Use strong, unique phrases or words when creating a password. Also, you should be changing it every few months to avoid being scammed!
Keeping private information private
If you use social media frequently, be sure to be safe and aware. Do not overshare private information such as your family member’s names, your address, and workplace. You should also consider looking into your privacy settings on your social media pages. You can change the settings so that when a stranger or someone you are not friends with looks at your page, all they can see is a picture.
Protect your bank accounts
It is always safe to look at your bank account and monitor your credit report regularly. If you don’t check your card statements, you may overlook any fraudulent charges made to your account!
If you purchase an item online, make sure to be aware of any shipping changes that may occur. Always use official channels to stay updated.
If you receive any emails from a user that requires personal financial information, immediately delete the email. Oftentimes, scammers will offer to send a gift card if you provide personal information they requested. It is likely they are looking to steal your personal information
Know you surroundings
If you are traveling, make sure to keep your devices close to you and in your line of view. The person sitting close by may be watching you put in your password or other important information.
It is always important to shop on safe sites that won’t steal your debit or credit card information. Only use websites that you are familiar with or that you trust.
Is it too good to be true?
If you see ads, giveaways, or contests on social media or in emails that seem unrealistic, it’s likely they are. Be aware that these types of scams are very popular during the holiday season.
It is very easy to be susceptible to phishing or scamming in the digital age; however, there are an abundance of tricks to learn that will help you become more aware of what a scam artist looks like. Unfortunately, scammers are only getting better as time goes on, so it’s important to learn how to protect your accounts and personal finances.