Blog Post by Emils Kragis, Business Development Officer at PayPugs
Every year millions of people and businesses fall victim to online fraud for example, $56 billion were lost to online fraud in 2020. The internet has become one of the most popular tools for fraud and the techniques used are becoming more sophisticated. Some criminals will even replicate a popular website to steal your identity information.
It is therefore of the utmost importance that people need to understand what type of information and as well as the amount thereof they should choose to divulge online.
Take a look at these tips to avoid being the next victim:
Know who’s asking
Financial institutions don’t send emails asking for personal information. It is important to apply critical thinking when it comes to receiving an email or text message from an institution asking for personal information. In these cases, never share your personal information like passwords, social security numbers, or any other information that would give criminals access to your money.
If you see an email asking you to provide sensitive financial information (even if the email looks like it is from a bank or your partner) make sure to call and inquire with the right person before proceeding.
Watch out for phishing scams
Phishing scams use emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private accounts or login information. They prompt the user to click on specific sources which leads to installing malicious software that collects your personal information from your computer or mobile device. Do not click on links or open any attachments from sources you are unfamiliar with. In such cases, you can report to authorities and the entities that are being impersonated.
Keep personal information personal
Today when we like to publish photos and information about ourselves on the internet, it is important to remember what information to share. Additionally, keep information like your passwords, birthday, addresses, and parents’ names safe and secure on secure applications – or even better, keep it handwritten on a piece of paper – for criminals not to reach. Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer security questions while resetting your password.
Stay up to date
Most of our lives are spent on computers and mobile devices. Keeping these devices up to date with the latest security updates, antivirus software, multi-factor authentication and operating systems are the best ways to avoid online fraud as they are hard for criminals to hack. Turning on automatic updates on your favorite applications will give you the latest upgrades and protection.
Before shopping online make sure the website you are visiting is using secure technology. There are different ways to make sure of it. First, verify that the web address begins with HTTPS. Second, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page (like the example below):
If your browser displays a “not secure” message in place of the lock, you should avoid entering any personal information on the site like your credit card information or address.
We all hate and ignore the long and complex privacy policies that are given to us to agree with. However, consider reading them to understand what type of information the site is collecting from you and how that information is used. If you see something that doesn’t satisfy you, then consider doing your business elsewhere.
With the internet becoming a vital part of our lives, we are prone to making mistakes. As online fraud is increasing and new techniques are being used, we must stay judgemental towards the information we receive and see. PayPugs is committed to protecting your personal and business information. We offer the highest level of security and safety of your data according to GDPR legislation and UK & USA regulations. Additionally, we will never ask you to disclose any of your personal details—be it online, on a phone call or through emails.