Business transactions are so much easier nowadays. However, the convenience offered by technology comes at a price.
Given the amount of information shared through the web, scams have also become so much easier to carry out. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself – and even if you’ve already been scammed, there are things you can do.
Tips for Online Safety
To keep your personal details safe, you’ll have to follow these four tips whenever you’re online.
- Boost Your Security
Don’t give your personal information to anyone. Likewise, don’t post sensitive data (like your social security number or your bank details) on public pages. Use passwords that are difficult to guess, and never share them with anyone. These simple actions are actually enough to keep most scammers away from your private info.
- Avoid Shady Sites
Be mindful of the websites you visit. Install a reliable security add-on for your chosen browser, making sure to check for malware whenever you’re visiting a new site.
Aside from that, unless you really trust the website you’re on, it would be best to refrain from clicking links. Hyperlinks can be used to harvest your personal information without your consent. Some malicious links can also send viruses to your device.
- Do Your Research
Gather some insights before buying anything online, and check the credibility of the business you’re dealing with before sending cash.
Remember, while reading customer reviews seems time consuming, it’s among the most reliable ways of revealing scams. Don’t assume though, that every review you see is from an actual client. Some businesses “purchase” testimonials for their own products or services.
- Always Be Vigilant
Don’t trust everyone you meet online. Fraudulent activities can appear out of nowhere and can affect everyone. Vigilance and caution are crucial for a safe experience in cyberspace.
What If It’s Too Late?
But what if you’ve already become a victim of an online scam? Well, it’s never too late to act. Just follow these three steps and you’ll be on your way to recovery.
- Calm Yourself Down and Think
First of all, don’t panic – or at least, do your best to calm yourself. Keep in mind that you’re more likely to do something rash when you’re mad or in distress. Act with a clear mind. Think of logical approaches to solve your present situation.
- Contact Your Credit Card Company
Put your card on hold or cancel it all together. Of course, you’ll have to explain the reason behind your request (don’t hesitate to tell them everything). Disabling your credit card prevents further financial damage. Reporting the incident can also help in tracking the scammer.
- Report to the Appropriate Authorities
Don’t pursue your scammers alone. Seek help from the authorities, as they’re more qualified in handling the issue, meaning they’re also more likely to succeed. Professional support is vital, especially since pinpointing scammers requires specialized methods and techniques.
Stay Safe on the Web
Aside from damaging you financially, getting scammed can compromise your safety. It can even ruin your reputation.
Improve your security and be a responsible netizen – and most importantly, act immediately when you realize something’s wrong.