Online scams can do massive amounts of damage – they can drain bank accounts and ruin lives. Everyone hears about the victims of cybercrime and how it destroyed their finances, cost them their identity, or both, but you never really think that it could be you.
Unfortunately, it can. Every time you log on, you put yourself at risk. Luckily, as long as you are armed with the right information and make an effort to protect your computer, you can surf the web in peace.
Pros and Cons of Using the Internet
The internet comes with some amazing advantages and for many people, it has grown from the point of being more of a necessity than a luxury.
You can order almost anything online and have it delivered straight to your door, sometimes in the same day. Many people have come to depend on the internet for work. The advantages of the internet come with some serious risks, threats, and dangers that can easily imperil anyone who surfs the web.
Here’s how you can stay ahead of the game and keep your computer safe from the ravages of online scams.
How to Protect Yourself from Online Scams
Protecting yourself from online scams is an essential part of using the internet responsibly. There are a great number of ways that you can protect yourself online. Starting with the basics, let’s look at how recognizing spam can help you stay safe on the web.
1. How to Spot Spam
Spam is one of the most commonly deployed methods of delivery when it comes to online scams, especially those containing harmful viruses. Alarming or eye-popping subject lines are used to attract attention in hopes that you will be naive enough to open them.
While these scams are not often the most sophisticated in design, they can still do a lot of damage to you and your computer. The key is not to open them. Spam can’t hurt you if it’s never opened in the first place, which is why being able to spot it is so important. It might sound like an easy task, but even though spam is not as sophisticated as other forms of cybercrime, some messages can be surprisingly convincing.
Spam can be more convincing and thus harder to detect, especially when they know your name and enough other details to pose as a relative, friend or co-worker.
2. Online Trading, Money Wire Scams
Wire scams are one of the most common online schemes that you can encounter. You’ll often see wire scams come in emails that come from scammers posing as traders who need your help to facilitate a money transfer and insist on using a wire transfer as opposed to PayPal.
The very fact that they are pushing wire transfers instead of a PayPal transfer is a major red flag, especially if the request is from someone you don’t know.
3. Counterfeit Products
One of the most frustrating online scams out there involves counterfeit products. These are designed around selling counterfeits when customers are expecting genuine brand merchandise. Aside from being an imperiling inconvenience, the counterfeit products also represent a potential danger as many of them either fall apart, are defective, or made with toxic materials.
Some of the most damaging cases involve the production and sale of counterfeit brand name makeup products. The counterfeits had extremely dangerous chemicals including cyanide. Toxic counterfeit products are often sold online. To steer clear of these and protect yourself from counterfeits like these, always shop directly through the brand’s official website or stockists as much as possible.
4. Information Held for Ransom
Ransomware is one of the most damaging online scams. You can be using your computer just as you normally would and then suddenly your screen is taken over. In ransomware attacks, the scammers will demand money, usually to be delivered via an alternative financial channel advantageous to the hacking community such as Bitcoin.
The startling trend of ransomware scammers refusing to release the data after being paid is on the rise, making it even more important to protect yourself from these attacks.
5. Phishing Scams and How to Avoid Them
A phishing scam is essentially built around the idea of crafting phony websites that mimic well-known sites such as PayPal. Avoiding phishing scams is most easily achieved by paying close attention to the URL and make sure that the exact wording is correct and matches the website you are trying to view.
Sometimes what looks like a poorly crafted version of the page shows up when you go to a website. Try refreshing the page first. If it corrects itself, it’s fine, but if it stays the same after refreshing it, there could be a phishing risk.
Finally, always look for the HTTPS protocol in the URL. Having the HTTPS protocol in the URL means that the website is secure. You should never manipulate money or log in on a website that features only HTTP, and not HTTPS.
How to Protect Yourself from Online Scams with Updated Drivers
One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself from online scams is by making sure your device drivers are updated at all times. Device drivers are special software components that help your computer hardware work together properly.
When device drivers go out of date, they become vulnerable to attack and present a point of weakness in your system for as long as they are left outdated. Network adapter drivers, for example, have been targeted by hackers, making it imperative that you keep all of your drivers up to date. Leaving them outdated only increases the chances of falling victim to an online scam when your drivers have been exploited to hack your machine.
The importance of keeping equipment up to date cannot be overstated as outdated software can leave systems vulnerable to attack.
You should always keep important components routinely updated. Maintaining updates helps prevent viruses from infecting your computer. Hackers are known to exploit the weaknesses of older editions of computer software.
While making sure your system components are always up to date is smart thinking, doing it manually can be extremely tedious.
Nevertheless, keeping them updated is extremely important to the health of your machine.
Choose Automatic Driver Update Software for the Best in Security and Convenience
The process of keeping track of all your device drivers and systematically updating them manually is an arduous and atrociously laborious task. Much better to take advantage of automated software solutions. The only question is which software to use. That’s where Driver Support comes in.
Choosing a software program that is reliable enough to trust your driver updates with is a serious decision. You’ll want to choose a company that has a lot of experience. Trusted industry leaders like Driver Support have been helping keep computers secure and in smooth operating condition for over 20 years, making them the premier choice.
Why Driver Support Is One of the Most Effective Protections for your Computer
Automated software solutions like Driver Support are among the best options for those of you looking to protect your computer. The software makes it easy to keep your device drivers routinely updated and takes the stress off of users. With Driver Support securely installed on your machine, you’ll be able to surf the net in confidence without worrying about scams that exploit outdated drivers.
Don’t hesitate, the risk runs higher every minute your computer’s device drivers are left outdated, Get Driver Support today!