Internet security scams are becoming extremely sophisticated. Because of this, when you are in doubt about the truthfulness or identity of anyone that youíre working with, donít give them access to your devices or systems – either in person or remotely. Instead, ensure you know someone who can help you with your devices so you can avoid this issue entirely.

Phishing Scams

One of the most common types of scams online and offline are phishing scams. Basically, the way a phishing scam works is that the criminal impersonates someone else to try to get personal data and other private information (especially financial in nature) from the victim. They can appear to be very real, and it is often scary to people.

To avoid a phishing scam, know how the companies and government entities that you work with like to communicate with you. For example, the IRS does not call you; they will send you a letter if they need to talk to you with an appointment scheduled for you to call them or write them back or go in the office. If any caller behaves in any way aggressively, you can usually chalk it up to a scam.

Know that some scammers are very adept at finding out information about people and using that to try to prove their legitimacy. You can protect yourself by using good strong passwords, double opt-in security, and by changing those passwords every 90 days. Remember, when itís too good to be true or too awful to imagine, itís probably a scam.

Tech Support Scams

This is one that has captured even the experienced person. Theyíre just minding their own business online when a pop-up or page shows up on the computer that is impossible to leave, claiming that you need to talk to a professional security person. Usually, they claim association with a company you know, such as Microsoft. Sometimes they come via email, and at first glance look just like they come from the real company.

Donít install any programs you did not intend to, and research before installing. Never call any numbers that pop up on your computer as a warning. Instead, restart the computer, run virus and malware software, and contact someone you know to help you. Do not try to find help online unless itís from a source you really know.

If someone you donít know wants remote access to your computer, they are scamming you. The only exception is if you called your known computer repair person.

Itís imperative that you keep your devices secure. Use hard passwords. Use two-step verification and any other measure your device offers to help protect yourself from scammers. Secure your Wi-Fi, and if you need to use public Wi-Fi a lot, get a VPN to help protect your information.

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