• March 9, 2023

Online scams: how to identify them and protect yourself The Modern Geek

Online scams: how to identify them and protect yourself ?

For many years now, online scams have not spared any Internet user, whatever the profile of the victims. How to identify a scam on the web, and above all, how to protect yourself effectively ? What about VPNs or other solutions considered as real security bulwarks ? This guide will provide an update on these essential subjects.

Online scams in a few words

Briefly, a online scam The purpose of an online scam is to obtain information, money or any type of goods from a victim.

The development of the Internet and connected devices has naturally favored the growth of the number of scams on the web. The INSEE has published worrying data concerning this phenomenon, with an average of 35% of French people exposed to phishing in 2019. But despite the growing impact of phishing attacks and other methods used by hackers, Internet users are often unaware of the most popular scamming techniques on the web, but also of some really effective solutions to prevent them (firewall, VPN…).

Here is an overview of the different methods used by cybercriminals.

Methods used by scammers on the web

Phishing (or phishing)

Widely reported on the web, the phishing is a method as simple as it is effective: sending a malicious link under a false pretext. Once clicked, this one will allow the hacker to get some information from his victim.

In addition, the emergence of a new term “vishing” defines similar scams based on voice communication (via Skype or a cell phone number, for example).

Fake advertising (or spam)

Present since the 90s, the spam refer to false advertisements offering products or services that are deliberately attractive. Unfortunately, a simple click on these ads can have serious consequences, including the installation of malicious programs such as spyware.

Impersonation of professionals (fake technical support)

L’impersonation of professionals consists of impersonating a trusted entity (bank, technical assistance, etc.) to.) and is generally based on sending emails. The scammers suggest that you change your username, for example, in order to make you click on a malicious link to hack into your account or to obtain precious information.

Blackmail (or doxxing)

The doxxing is a method of hackers that relies on blackmail (ransomware is a perfect example). The recovery or possession of personal information is obviously a sine qua non condition to apply this type of fraud’scam.

Fake online dating (grazers)

The fake online dating are other online scams based on social engineering. Here, malicious people (scramblers) present attractive fake profiles in order to rob their victims of sometimes staggering amounts of money.

False deliveries of packages

Finally false deliveries of parcels Are scams that have been widely reported since 2020. The principle is simple: a victim receives an email or SMS inviting him to reschedule the delivery of a package. Unsurprisingly, impersonation of a company such as La Poste, Mondial Relay or TNT is always checked, as the links sent lead to fake sites intended to collect personal data.

False deliveries of packages

How to protect yourself effectively ?

Your behavior on the web is essential

First of all, it is essential to remember that the behavior of an Internet user is the first recommendation capable of drastically reducing the risks related to online scams. Thus, take care to :

  • Don’t click on questionable links;
  • Check the sender of an email that you might consider suspicious;
  • Carefully check the address bar of your browser for errors in the URL;
  • Do not disclose sensitive information (especially your passwords);
  • Use your banking app exclusively to manage your online transactions.

Limit your online footprint

Also limit web registrations as much as possible. Indeed, by limiting the creation of online accounts, you will also limit the risk of online scams and hope to win. Also, be sure to use a unique password for each service This way, if a crook manages to hack one of them, your other accounts will remain protected.

Use tools that are known to be effective

Finally, some tools can greatly maximize your online protection.

Using a VPN is essential to secure your connection and protect your personal information. Note that some VPNs have additional features to block malicious links and software. Using a password manager will also help you to create and save strong passwords safely.

So many tools that will ensure your peace of mind online.