How to protect yourself from computer scams
Computer scams are on the rise, and it's important to know how to protect yourself. Some of the most common scams include phishing, evil twins, and pop-ups.
Phishing is a type of scam where scammers try to trick you into revealing your personal information, such as your passwords, credit card numbers, or social security numbers. They do this by sending you emails or text messages that look like they're from a legitimate company, such as your bank or credit card company. The emails or text messages will often contain a link that takes you to a fake website that looks like the real website of the company. If you enter your personal information on the fake website, the scammers can steal it.
An evil twin is a fake Wi-Fi network that has a name that is very similar to a legitimate Wi-Fi network. For example, the scammers might create an evil twin network called "Starbucks Free Wi-Fi" that looks like the real Starbucks Free Wi-Fi network. If you connect to the evil twin network, the scammers can steal your personal information or install malware on your device.
Pop-ups are windows that appear on your screen when you're browsing the web. Some pop-ups are legitimate, but many are scams. For example, a pop-up might say that your computer is infected with a virus and that you need to buy a security program to fix it. If you click on the link in the pop-up, you could install malware on your device or be taken to a fake website where the scammers can steal your personal information.
How to protect yourself
There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from computer scams:
- Be suspicious of unsolicited emails and text messages. If you receive an email or text message from a company you don't know, or if the message asks for your personal information, don't click on any links or open any attachments.
- Hover over links before clicking on them. If you're hovering over a link, you should see the actual URL of the website that the link will take you to. If the URL doesn't look like the URL of the website you expect, don't click on the link.
- Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help protect you from known vulnerabilities.
- Use a strong password manager. A password manager can help you create and store strong, unique passwords for all of your online accounts.
- Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN encrypts your traffic, making it more difficult for scammers to steal your personal information.
- Install antivirus software. Antivirus software can help protect your device from malware.
If you think you may have fallen victim to a computer scam, it's important to take action immediately. Contact the company that the scammers were pretending to be from and let them know what happened. You should also change your passwords and monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from computer scams.