Cybercrime is big business. From the private user who logs into one too many risky websites, to large corporations who fail to consider the importance of password protection, nobody is safe from hackers. 2020 has seen some consistent scams come to the fore, and the more that you know what to expect, the easier it becomes to avoid those cybercriminals. It used to be that internet users were advised not to give out personal information, but from UberEATS to Tiktok, online privacy seems like a distant dream. Here are the three most commonly seen online scams of 2020, so that you know how to recognize when someone might be attempting to use your information for a profit.
One of the oldest forms of cybercrime, phishing is when internet users are persuaded to click on a link. They might be told that the link takes them somewhere safe, but the result is that those users then download malware that can cause harm to businesses and private citizens alike.
Spear-phishing is a relatively new tactic that has become incredibly popular among criminals in 2020, simply because it’s so effective.
Spear-phishing means that hackers gain control of personal accounts, and then send out messages to close friends or colleagues with the dangerous links included. Since people are more likely to click on a link if it comes from someone they know, that makes spear-phishing the number one risk in 2020. Make sure that you know the best ways to reduce your risks of falling for a spear-phishing attack.
The Fake Charity
There are a lot of worthy causes in the world and donating money to those causes is more popular than ever. From pandemic relief to social justice charities, from food banks to animal charities, there are a lot of demands on our cash. The problem is that fake charities are very easy to set up, and a cybercriminal can build a very professional looking website in a very short amount of time.
Then, all they need is your email address or phone number. Emails and text messages then start to come through, and the more that you see them, the more likely that you will start to think about donating.
If you get a message that thanks to you for a donation but you haven’t made one, that’s a good sign that the charity is fake. You should also watch the tone of any emails that you get. If they seem increasingly urgent or oddly vague, then that’s a good sign that they aren’t legit.
Fake Anti-Virus Software
If you’ve ever seen those pop-ups that warn you in flashing letters that your computer has been infected with a virus, then there’s a good chance that you have been exposed to cybercrime.
There are more fake antivirus software adverts online than ever before, and they can be surprisingly sophisticated and legitimate looking.
You must not give in to temptation and click on those adverts because they will very quickly infect your computer with malware, ransomware, or a virus. If you think that you are being targeted, use experts in IT Consulting to ensure that you have the toughest and most effective online defenses in place at all times.
Cybercrime continues to become more profitable for criminals, and it’s not going away anytime soon. It’s more important than ever that you understand the need for more robust online protection and an awareness of all of the ways that cybercriminals try to trick people into giving away their valuable information.