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The Slick VPN Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – Part 4 of 7: Online Scams

Published On: August 14th, 2018   Filed Under: Security, SlickVPN Client, SlickVPN News, TCP/IP, VPN, WIFI

They’re out there. 

They” are the folks who want to scan you.  And the internet is a perfect conduit for scam artists to flourish.  They can operate virtually anonymously; can target a large group of people with no real concern about geographic limitations; and finally:  online scams keep happening because they work.

It’s much easier to avoid being scammed online when you know what the various type of scams look like, and that’s what we’ll cover here.

 


 

 

Phishing

Yes, it sounds like following a jam band from concert to concertBut phishing is something different that strikes a far more ominous chord:  in a nutshell, a phishing scam is an email that looks legitimate, but isn’t.

You might receive an email that looks like it’s from your bank or your credit card company.  It asks you to login to your account for some reason—to verify your information, to avoid a penalty, almost anything—but when you do you’re ‘hooked.’

The hackers have now received your user name and password.  And what they plan to do with it isn’t good.

For more details and some instances of phishing scams, check out this information published by Indiana University here.

Best way to avoid phishing?  Never, ever login to any account from any email.  Always login from your internet browser or app from which you’ve logged in before.  No legitimate company needs to ask you for your credentials—they already have them.

 

 

 


 

Fake Antivirus Software

To get rid of a virus you might consider downloading some anti-virus software.  But if you’re not careful, what you’ll be getting is malware—malicious software—that can let hackers control your computer.  Once in control, they can record your credentials—like your user names and passwords—and potentially access your accounts.

Don’t allow any security software on your computer except the kind you choose and install yourself.  Keep a backup of your information.  And most importantly:  keep your antivirus software current.f

 

 

 


 

Text Message Links

So your bank or credit card sends you a text.  It might even have the last 4 digits of your account in it.  The message might even come from Apple, or PayPal.  But the common denominators will be a purported security issue, and a link to click to take care of the issue.

Don’t click it.  Don’t call any phone number subscribed.  Go to the website of the company that purportedly texted you and contact them.  The odds are very good that the text message you got was another form of phishing, this time via text.

 

 

 

 


 

Social Media Q&A Scams

You might be asked on social media–   as part of a quiz, or perhaps even from one of your online friends—random questions like ‘What was the make and model of your first car?’ or ‘What was your address as a child?”

Don’t answer.  Your friend’s identity may have been hacked, and even if not, a legitimate looking quiz may be one administered by a data mining company.  If you didn’t notice, both questions asked above are common identity questions legitimate sites use if you have forgotten or lost a password or user name.  Hackers can use this data to break into your accounts.

 

 

 


 

Typosquatting

Slippery fingers and small smartphone keyboards together help ensure spelling mistakes are common.  But some hackers create domain names that look similar to popular sites—Amozon.com, anyone?  and then lurk there waiting for a victim to come visit.

The site might even look like the real deal.  But when you login, guess what?  Yup, the hackers have your data for the legitimate site and can now get in… unless you realize what has happened and change your actual password on the real site, and fast.  What’s more, however—once you got in, the hackers may have already sent malware to your computer.  So it’s best to avoid altogether.

A closely related scam involves sites with a few added letters to a legitimate site, something like calvinkleindeals.com.  If you have any questions, just type an address into Google’s Transparency Report to see the site’s safety rating from Google.

 

 


 

Online Dating Scams

Finally, if a beautiful woman writes to you out of the blue– for whatever reason—it’s probably a scam!  Better safe than sorry, like one poor Australian who went public with his attempted online affair with a Russian woman named‘Aleksandra.’

 

 

 

 

 

 


What else can you do?

If you get the feeling that there are people all over the internet who want your date?  You’re right, they do.

So be careful every time you are online.  Think before you click any link.  Be careful on every site and do all you can to ensure it’s legitimate.  Provide account numbers only if you’re sure you’re on a secure system.

And protect your identity at all times.  One of the easiest ways to do just that is by using a good VPN service like SlickVPN.  VPN—or Virtual Private Network– will encrypt all the data you transmit, and block your IP address.  Cyber thieves and scammers can’t track your encrypted data, and they won’t know if you’re online.

When you enter account information or passwords, it’s all passing through the encrypted tunnel produced by your VPN service.  No one can see it.  So no one can steal it.  When you are connected to the internet with SlickVPN, you enjoy complete privacy.

 

No one can monitor what you do online.

No one can throttle and slow down your connection.

You’ll surf completely anonymously, and with the highest possible quality…

The strong encrypted tunnel produced by SlickVPN means the addresses or URLs of any site you visit are masked, as well as any unique identifiers for you.  So you can stay safe online.

24/7 support, blazing fast connections, and a 30-day money back guarantee.