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Posted in Newsletter on September 6, 2022   |  by Gary Burger

7 Ways To Stay Safe Online

Scammers are everywhere on the internet these days. It’s become almost unavoidable. Joe (our Marketing Manager) and I recently dealt with a scammer attacking users on our Facebook page. But if it’s unavoidable, what can you do? Here are some tips and tricks we’ve come up with for you to help protect yourself from online scammers.

7 Ways To Stay Safe Online

Trust your instincts

We've all seen emails trying to trick you into falling for various scams. They're so ubiquitous, that I can't even give you examples here, because it will trip your spam filter! Trust your instincts. If it sounds fishy to you, it probably is.

Never click a link you didn’t expect

Sneaky links are one of the easiest ways to get you to download malware, give up access to your account, or fall for a scam. If someone sends you a link you didn’t expect, don’t click on it until you have verified with the person what the link was, and if they intended you to open it. If at all possible, do this on another platform, in case their account was compromised.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is

This one is pretty self explanatory. For example, if you see an ad for an online store you’ve never heard of, offering everything for free, just pay shipping, chances are, you’ll never see that product. They’ll make off with your fee, as well as your credit card information, and you’ll never see them again. When in doubt, check reviews, and always shop with reputable dealers.

Social Media Quizzes are anything but innocent

I’m sure we’d all like to know what Stranger Things character we are, but the truth of the matter is that these quizzes often collect personal data. At best, they will use that information to target ads to you, but at worst, they can collect data that can be used to answer security questions to online accounts, and steal your identity.

Step up your password game!

If you're still using “password” as a password in 2022, you are practically laying out the welcome mat for scammers. Most web security experts recommend using a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Also avoid words and phrases that are obvious, such as names and birthdays.

Use 2FA when available

2FA, or Two Factor Authentication, is a relatively new technique that can help keep people out of your account. Essentially, it requires a second method other than your password to access your account, such as a text message sent to your cell phone, or a random code from a 2FA generator (like Google Authenticator). 2FA actually help protect Joe’s Discord account from being hacked a couple of months ago, after he fell for a sneaky link. So while it might be a pain, it works.

Use Antivirus software on all devices

This might seem like a no brainer, but an alarming percentage of Americans don’t have up-to-date antivirus software installed on their devices. This software is great at preventing malicious software from gathering your information and compromising your device. There are a ton of great names in premium antivirus software, such as Norton, McAffee, and Kaspersky, just to name a few, but if you’re on a budget, there are some free solutions out there, like AVG, that can do pretty well too.

The internet can be a wild place, but use these tips, and your experience will be much safer!

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