You’ve got to give credit to those people running scams on the internet for creativity and as well as for their staying power. If only they could harness those powers for good. (Sounds like the plot for a Hollywood superhero movie, but that’s another topic for another time.)
Nevertheless, it seems as though internet scams are here to stay; but the schemes of a small group don’t have to keep your group offline. By keeping some basic online safety tips in mind, the World Wide Web can be a safe, enjoyable experience for you and the entire family.
Flip through to explore various types of internet scams and find out what you can do to protect yourself.
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Emails with Attachments
Some scammers use a virus to infect your computer and then send your email contacts a message trying to pass themselves off as one of your friends or associates. Or they may use your list of addresses to present themselves as the IRS or a store offering a big discount. Bad news e
It's best to establish a policy within your family of not opening emails with attachments unless you know ahead of time that somebody is going to send you something. Even then, it won't hurt to call the sender and confirm the item. Let your friends know of this policy and if you receive an attachment you weren’t expecting, you'll know it's not legit. (Be forewarned, if a friend’s email has been hacked, any attachments you receive from them is suspicious.)
Request to Verify Personal Info
If you get an email from the IRS, Social Security or sites like Amazon and PayPal claiming that they need to verify your personal information, it's a scam. No ifs, ands or buts.
Government agencies don’t conduct business in this manner; they send snail mail, usually certified sin triplicate. The same is true with reputable firms such as PayPal, eBay and major retailers. You'll have to disclose personal information when you sign up for such sites, but that’s the only time you have to give out those kinds of details unless you forget your password or need to change your payment method. The same is true for your bank and most financial institutions.
While the joy of the Internet is being whisked away to new and interesting sites with just a click, be careful. You may receive a link that looks perfectly harmless; perhaps something offering pretty desktop designs or even promising substantial savings. It's best to avoid clicking any links unless you know for sure it's a safe site.
The links that are most harmful usually attach web-based malware to your computer which can end up practically taking over your whole system. The best option is to copy the link and place it in a search engine such as Google or Bing. If it doesn't return any results or comes up as an error, it’s likely a fake link with some kind of damaging software behind it.
These might be the worst con of them all. When clicked on, these links display an official looking warning that your computer has been infected and the only way to get rid of the bad things is to let this good-guy software scan your system now. This software often installs components that either slow down your system or cripple it all together.
If you accidentally click on such a link, DO NOT click OK or cancel. The best way to get out of it is to close your Web browser completely and reopen it. Updating your virus protection usually eliminates the risk with this type of scam.
Some scams are downright despicable, often preying on people’s generosity and desire to help others. Discuss these tips with your kids and remind them to think twice before they click or give out any personal information. And use common sense: In the words of your mother or your grandparents, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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