Whether you like it or not, scam websites and emails are part of today’s internet experience. Hackers always rely on unassuming victims who aren’t tech-savvy enough to learn the basic online security measures. The goal of this article is to give you some general rules in dealing with the various websites and emails you visit and receive on a daily basis. We promise, it won’t take you hours to do so.
Always be vigilant on domain names.
Scam websites usually have appealing names like ‘morefacebooklikes’ or ‘freemp3moviedownload’, names that offer ludicrous deals. Hackers don’t really take time brainstorming a less suspicious name, making them easier to avoid. . If you’re trying to visit a legitimate website, always make sure you typed the domain name right.
Don’t be fooled by poor grammar.
Most materials written to scam people online contain poor grammar. Because hackers only care about stealing your data, they don’t bother running their content through spell checker. This habit bites them back on the rear by producing fraud materials that are easy to identify as fake. Sometimes, you won’t even understand the message at all. Use this to your advantage the next time you receive an email asking for your personal information.
Don’t click on suspicious or gibberish links.
The ultimate goal of scam websites and emails is to convince victims to send their personal information to them. They try to achieve this goal by sending you URLs on your email or adding suspicious links to scam websites for you to click on. As a general rule, never click on a suspicious URL unless you’re 100% sure the URL you’re trying to access is correct, or you really trust the person that sent you the URL. If not, go out of the website immediately and delete those emails.
Look for online security indicators.
Notice how the most trusted websites have a green address bar? This online security indicator is a standard for most websites today. Scam websites won’t get a chance to use these security feature since only legitimate companies and institutions are allowed to avail. Other security indicators to look out for includes having an HTTPS protocol, a padlock icon on the address bar, and faster loading speeds. If the website is clunky and barely has any security features on it, don’t trust that website.
When it comes to emails, legitimate companies use the S/MIME technology to sign their official emails. So if you receive an email from a company or an organization asking for your details, check the email signature immediately. Scam emails can’t have this security feature so ignore them immediately. Companies wouldn’t ask for your personal information in any situation anyway.
Choose where you input your credentials.
Most scam websites will try and convince you to input your credentials on the fake login page they setup. So if a website desperately want you to upload your bank details to their website, never do it. Always make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate website before placing your sensitive information. Normally, legitimate websites won’t ask for your details until you confirm your order.
Ignore profanities and urging commands.
Ever received an email asking you to pay for something you didn’t order? Or how about an email urging you to click a link to save millions of people in need? Scam emails sometimes try to catch you off guard by absurd claims and even derogatory language. Some will even accuse you of something you never did, just to urge you to click to a link. Ignore these emails and don’t do anything these emails want you to do.
Hopefully, this short list of precautions will help you avoid the most common online scams today. If you want to learn more about the different online security indicators, head down to our official website or sign up for our free white paper about SSL Certificates. Who knows, you might also need for your startup website.