The number of people losing money to cybercriminals has been on the rise in recent years. With so many people accessing the internet via their smartphones, the focus has shifted from computers to mobile devices. Whether it is an Android or iOS mobile device, finding ways to protect yourself is essential.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies report, individuals and businesses lost an estimated $1 trillion during the coronavirus period. Unfortunately, if you aren’t careful, you could also become a part of these grim statistics.
This article introduces you to the crucial tips to avoid online scams.
1. Update Your Devices Firmware
It will help if you keep your iPhone up to date with the latest version of iOS, web browser, and software. With that, you will enjoy protection against malware, viruses, and other online scams. In addition, you can make sure that you get the newest versions of your firmware and software by turning on automatic updates.
2. Install a VPN
A virtual private network or VPN is a technology that establishes a private connection between your computer and another network. A VPN works by encrypting data to protect it from prying eyes and replacing your actual internet protocol (IP) address with an IP address in another location.
A VPN for iOS works by downloading a related app and installing it on your phone. After configuring the app according to your phone’s VPN protocol, you can turn it on for your online protection. It also keeps your kids safe online by reinforcing what you taught them about being responsible online.
3. Steer Clear of Phishing Scams
Scammers have devised ways of obtaining information from innocent users like you. First, they send you a message or email with a link. Then, when you click on the link, the scammer gets your data and uses it to defraud you.
The messages could be in the form of text messages, email, or phone calls. Knowing how to identify these messages can help you avoid getting scammed. At the same time, you should avoid clicking on the suspicious links sent through these messages.
4. Keeping Social Media Account Details Private
It is essential to keep personal information away from the prying eyes of scammers. On social media, scammers can use your profile to discover and change your passwords or answer your chosen security questions. Maintaining online security is as simple as locking your privacy settings to block your address, birthday, and mother’s maiden name.
5. Don’t Install Suspicious Apps
It would help if you only install the apps your phone manufacturer recommends. If you install a suspicious app, you may end up losing the password to your online bank account. Once this information lands in the wrong hands, it can result in you losing all your savings.
6. Never Provide Personal Information
Some fraudsters will send you messages pretending to be your bank soliciting information. A bank would never require you to send your identity and account information via email. Any message you get requiring you to provide that information is a scam.
Another example of suspicious emails is those purporting to be from suppliers. They wouldn’t be unusual if they contained invoices and other general business documents. However, if the information they are asking for is too sensitive, don’t believe them.
7. Keep Your Passwords Securely
At the basic level, you should keep your login credentials away from prying eyes, even from your trusted friends. As a precaution, you should also make a habit of changing your passwords regularly. If you use a wireless network, you should avoid broadcasting your SSID and password.
8. Use Public Wi-Fi With Greater Care
Public Wi-Fi is one of the ways through which scammers can access your device. Therefore, you shouldn’t use just any public Wi-Fi as it could be a trap to get your data. You may use public Wi-Fi for general web browsing but never for banking or shopping.
9. Exercise Caution When Shopping Online
Online shopping is now the in-thing across the world. Unfortunately, there are so many shopping sites that you might not know the ones to trust. Avoid websites that want to collect your banking information and use it to scam you.
Staying safe online is entirely up to you. It would help if you started by updating your phone’s firmware and applications. Additionally, you should install a VPN app and avoid falling prey to phishing scams.
Fraudsters creep around the internet looking for naive individuals to scam. That’s why you should avoid installing suspicious apps, divulging private information, and using public Wi-Fi for shopping and banking. If you do that, you will stay safe and avoid the simple tricks that scammers use to defraud people.