The internet can be a scary place if you’re not prepared for the numerous scams, identity crimes, and hackers that lay in wait across most websites. Thankfully, a little education and an understanding of the online world will prepare you so that you don’t have to worry about falling for any of these tricks.
These are five online hacks and scams everyone should know to watch out for, and how to avoid them.
1- Shopping Scams
Shopping scams are the most well-known and, unfortunately, the easiest to do. They convince you that you’re on a real website and then will trick you into buying items that they don’t have and don’t have any intention of shipping out. By the time you realize it, they’ll have made off with your moment and moved on to their next fake site.
2- IP Address Spoofing
IP address spoofing is something that many scammers do to conduct illegal activity online while pinning it on someone else. They’ll trick you into clicking a link and then steal your information, like your IP address, in any way possible. If you’re asking yourself, “what could they do with my IP address?” It’s important to know that they can do a lot, including framing you for illegal activities. This protects them, using you as their own personal VPN.
Phishing is more direct than some of these other forms of scams and hacks, and it’s usually done via email. A phishing scammer will pose as a reputable company to try and get you to give your information up. This means that if you get an email that looks like it’s from PayPal: it’s important to remember that they would never ask you to reveal your password in an email. If you click a link in an email, even if it seems to be from a reputable source: look at the URL that loads. They can make convincing fakes, but they can’t fake the URL.
4- Bad Downloads and Fake Antivirus Software
Bad downloads are incredibly common, and when paired with fake antivirus software, they can be devastating. Bad downloads can do anything from turning your computer into a cryptocurrency farm for them to profit off of to stealing all of your information and online log-ins while you use your computer as though there’s nothing wrong. There’s a lot they can do to harm you, so it’s important to know to be safe.
5- Scam Ads
Scam ads are something that you may assume are an item of the past: but they’re still very common on many poorly run websites. These will pose as either awards, prizes, or the chance to get out of debt, but when you click the link, will either lock you out of your own computer until you pay them, or will force you to download malware.
There’s No Reason to Be Unsafe Online in 2022
Whether you’re trying to improve your online behavior, or you want to show others in your household how to be safer: it’s important to be at least a little tech-savvy. Get to know these common scams, and you’ll be able to stop a dishonest internet crook from a mile away!