The Internet is a true phenomenon, and it has re-shaped the way we live in the 21st century, with some aspects of our daily lives now going online.
For example, if you want to tax & insure your motor, you will now have to go online, or if you need roadside assistance from the RAC, you need to fill out an online enquiry form.
But at the same time, the Internet can be a really dark and dangerous place, and even one of the favourites for cybercriminals who’s goal it is to create victims for their personal gain.
1. Phishing scams
Phishing and fishing are very similar, the latter ‘fishing’ is to put some nice bait on your hook and attract unknowing fish, only to then swipe them up and take them away.
Similarly, ‘phishing‘ is where a cybercriminal creates a trustworthy persona and a facebook scam in mid-2016 is the perfect example; the scam starts in a user thats already been hacked and a message like this “?? [Insert name] is this you??” followed by a fake youtube link. When you click the link you’ll be prompted to enter your facebook account details and then you’ll see a blank white screen, this means the hacker has your details and will then go onto your account and send the fake message and link to a number of your facebook friends.
2. Fake anti-malware
This is one of the more common scams, it is also one of the more simpler ones. You’ve seen them at least once before while browsing the internet, as a pop up ad that tells you how many viruses you have and that you “need” to download it urgently, which is not true at all!
When you download and install the software, it will infect your system with malware, or even worse ransomware (where you need to pay a ransom in order to use the system).
If you ever see a pop up advertisement about anything, remember that it is just that, an “advertisement”, it has nothing to do with your computer.#
3. Fake technical support
Tech support impersonators do damage to real companies, especially the large corporations like Microsoft, Google and Apple.
The scammer behind the fake tech support call will try and victimise you by charging you a large sum for “tech support” that hasn’t actually acheived anything other than emptying your savings account.
Keep this one rule in mind: A tech support company will NEVER EVER call you to tell you something is wrong with your device. Either call them or your device manufacturer to stay safe.
4. Amazon Prime Scam
I know this isn’t strictly an online scam, but its so common that everyone should be kept aware of how dangerous it can be. The scam usually goes like this:
- An automated voice will tell you to press “1” in order to speak to a human operative a.k.a the scammer.
- They will talk to you for a little while and then they will request remote access to your computer.
- They will ask you to display your bank details, once you have done this, they will have unrestricted access to your funds and your financial situation will be in serious jeopardy.
If they’ve asked for remote access, don’t say anything, just put the phone down as if the call never happened.
If you’ve granted remote access, terminate it immediately and switch off your computer, and also hang up the phone call.
5. Un-secure websites
There are two main protocols when visiting websites on the internet, the HTTP protocol (HyperText Transfer Protocol), and the HTTPS protocol (HyperText Transfer Protocol + Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)).
Any website that has “https” at the start of their web address is secured with SSL encryption.
On the other hand, websites that start with “http” are unsecure. If you’re storing your personal data on an unsecure website you’re doing so at your own risk, as these websites are much more susceptible to cyberattacks.