Part Four: General Online Safety Notes + Conclusion
Welcome to our fourth and final part of our mini article series on online fraud/scam prevention and information. Below you can read some important notes which should be kept in mind while browsing the internet.
- Even if you see and advertisement on Google website or Facebook, it does not mean it is legitimate. Google and Facebook do not have an extensive verification of legitimate businesses when advertisements are placed on the platforms.
- Do not call the phone numbers of a popup ad/alert even if the number seemingly directs you to a well-known company. Always search for the number of the organization from its official website.
- If you suspect that there is an issue with your computer, even if this has to do with potential hackers, viruses which you saw as a popup, always communicate with a trustworthy person (friend or family member) or better, call over your local technician to physically examine the computer.
- Never save login information on your computer because it is “easier” to access your accounts. Phishing links can allow remote access to hackers on your computer and give them free access to your accounts. Also, this can occur through the remote software installed during a “tech support scam”.
- Even if an email contains the logo of a legitimate company, it does not mean that is the real website. Always check the email address and crosscheck it with the real one on the official website.
- Always use the two-factor-authentication option when available. This option essentially sends an automatic text message verification code on your phone when there is a (new) log in to your account (and NEVER give the code to anyone, especially to a stranger).
- Banks/Financial Institutions, whenever they send a message (update, they usually do so through the message display feature on their online banking app.
- Enable automated message receiving on banking transactions. For example, a message will be sent to you when you make a payment with credit card or when you receive money on your credit card. When payment is made through credit card, it usually takes a couple of days for the money to be removed from your account. If by receiving a transaction message from your bank (when the feature is enabled) seems that you could be a victim of a scam, there is the option to call the appropriate department of your bank by visiting your banks’ website (works 24/7) and ask to block the transaction before the funds are transferred.
- If someone calls you claiming that he/she is from your banking institution, do not continue the conversation. Instead, politely hang up the phone and call by yourself the bank on the phone number provided on the banks’ official website (or call the 24-hour helpline if it is at night/weekend).
We hope you now have a better understanding on how certain online scams work, how to spot them and prevent them. The information provided is very basic and it is always highly recommended to conduct your own further research on the matter for a better and more in depth understanding. Thank you for your time, and always stay safe.