At this point, after more than a year of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are all at the point of feeling like we’ve surely been given enough to deal with and live through at this point, right? However, it’s a sad fact of the world that there are always people out there who are ready, willing and able to take advantage of people who are having a hard time, and so the rise in the number of cybercrime attacks from 2020 to today is hardly too surprising. It’s upsetting, but it’s not surprising.
Now, the pandemic scams have come in all shapes and sizes over the course of the last twelve months or so. There are the scam calls, of course, the postal scams, and people who have decided that what they want to do with their lives is to try and sell people fake vaccines (seriously, double check where your vaccine invitation messages are being sent from). But the crooks were smart enough to know where the vast majority of people would be spending the vast majority of their time in a world where everyone was being told not to go outside. That’s right, we’ve all been spending a lot more time online these days, and that’s where the people who want to steal your money and your information are targeting.
But we shouldn’t let these people stand in the way of living our lives. If you want to make sure that you can enjoy yourself and browse freely online without constantly worrying if you’ve been taken advantage of, here are a few things that you can do.
First Things First: Be Smarter With Emails
Back in the day, it used to be easy to spot a spam email. You could do it from a mile away. Remember that prince who needed help with their bank account and just needed some money to help them move some funds? Well, that was over ten years ago, and it shouldn’t shock you to learn that con artists have picked up a few new tricks since then.
Given that we are all on the edge of our seats when it comes to updates on our health and that of our loved ones, vaccines and all that they entail, and the general miserable state of the economy and the job market, there are an awful lot of different topics out there that could convince us to click on a link. And that is precisely why it is so important to make sure that you double check where an email has come from before you click anything. If you’re at all suspicious, do a bit of checking and don’t be afraid to check with a friend, family member or colleague to see if what they have sent is legit.
If You’re Spending Money Or Gambling Online, Check Your (And Their) Safety
Generally speaking, most of the big sites where money is changing hands will have invested in top notch security (after all, there’s a lot on the line for them too!). However, you can never be too careful, particularly at the moment, and there are steps that you can take to make sure you’re doubly protected.
If you’re gambling online, for example, online casinos should have security certificates that are easy to find which will detail all the measures that they are taking to keep your money and information safe. It’s also worth noting that it is in their interest to be as secure as possible, as word of mouth tends to travel fast in the online gambling community! We’re also starting to see certain casino online sites use PayPal to process their financial payments as their safety reputation is second to none. You can browse Online Casinos for an excellent list of sites that are taking this very sensible security step.
Think About What Security Steps You’re Taking
It’s all very well to do an antivirus scan once you think you have already come across something dodgy, but you will save yourself an awful lot of time and worry, not to mention potential security breaches, if you get a bit more proactive ahead of time. For example, while certain types of computers have a reputation as being virus proof, there are always going to be ways for determined hackers to find their way in. If you want to throw up a better wall against potential intruders, then you should start thinking about a password generator for any sites or your email addresses to make them less vulnerable. You should also look at using a two-step authentication programme.
It’s also very important to remember that it’s not enough to simply buy one antivirus programme (or indeed download a free one) and assume that it will stay effective for years to come. You need to be updating your security measures regularly.
Do Your Homework
If you really want to start living and working more safely online, then one of the best things that you can do is to put in the time to learn more about the threats that are out there and what you can do to stop them. If you’re thinking about buying a new phone or computer, make sure you do some research into its security reputation, and what you might be able to do yourself to make it safer. If your friends suggest a new online game to play together, don’t assume that they have done their homework: do it yourself.
While some of these security threats will be more difficult to spot than others, one thing that they are all counting on is that you are in too much of a hurry or that you are too poorly informed to look too closely. They are assuming that you’re the kind of person who won’t notice that something looks suspicious until it’s too late. By taking that extra moment to think and by taking a few more easy housekeeping security steps, you can make sure that the vast majority of cybersecurity threats will have to keep on moving.