Online Scams – 12 Tips on How to Keep Yourself Safe

Wherever you turn [online], you’ll be met by some sort of scam sooner or later. There are many types of scams such as email scams, social networking scams or scare tactics, but luckily, there are several ways to protect yourself.

Practice these tips on a regular basis and you’ll avoid falling victim to scams:

  1. If a deal or offer looks too good to be true, it is. Period.
  2. Always use common sense. For example, if you don’t recognize an email address, don’t even open the message in the first place and delete the message.
  3. Never share important financial information. (Again, use common sense). A legitimate organization will never ask for your Social Security Number or bank account number.
  4. Avoid opening email attachments. For example, reputable e-card companies never include attachments.
  5. Be vigilant. Pay attention to spelling and grammar. If it’s off, it could be a scam.
  6. Never keep the same password across multiple accounts. This is a sure way to invite hackers in.
  7. Change password to all your most important accounts every 6 months.
  8. Increase your security measures with things like two-factor authentication and varying your passwords. Especially when you’re dealing with any form of online payments.
  9. Only make purchases or donations by known and legitimate organizations. Be aware of scams that try to imitate a legitimate organization or brand.
  10. Stop automatically joining wifi networks by changing your smartphone settings.

On a final note, if you suspect you’ve been a victim of a scam or cybercrime, be proactive by contacting your bank and credit card company and cancel your card immediately — or even close your account completely. It also wouldn’t hurt to inform the authorities. Remember to turn off you computer or phone and disconnect it from your network so that it doesn’t spread to other devices.