The dark side of technology

Cybersecurity: Understanding the Dark Side of Technology

As we celebrate and embrace new advancements in the digital space, we should also recognize the dark side of technology. Scammers are constantly devising new ways to steal personal information and exploit vulnerabilities. And everyone is at risk, including small and large businesses and even individuals. Unfortunately, many people and organizations aren’t well-equipped and prepared to handle cyber threats. But on the other hand, attackers are constantly innovating and adopting new technologies and tactics to carry out their “businesses.” Therefore, cybersecurity will remain a hot topic as we continue relying on technology.

The Latest Scams Making Headlines in 2023

You’re wrong to think that scams only affect older adults. According to reports, Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z neighbors are more likely to lose money to fraud compared to people 60 and above. But how do people get scammed?

Online Job Scams

Jobs available online have increased, especially since the pandemic hit the world. Online job scams have skyrocketed as well. We get it, times are hard, and people are desperately searching for jobs using the latest technology. However, you must always be careful with these online jobs, as some might just land you in trouble. Scammers post fake job ads on popular job boards or send unsolicited messages or emails. Some have even created fake company websites and social media profiles to lure in their victims. Once they get hold of you, they’ll request your bank account details and social security number or ask you to pay upfront fees for training.

Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams may want to make you believe that your computer has a serious problem. They’ll therefore ask you to pay for tech support services to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. They may use different tactics to trick you into paying for their “services.”

Fake Prize and Lottery Scams

Ever received an email or call saying you’ve won the lottery, a new car, or an iPhone? And some go ahead to claim these “gifts,” knowing very well they haven’t participated in any game or lottery. The scammers will ask you to provide your account information to get the prize or pay money to process your “gift.” Anything like this is a huge scam.

How Do You Spot a Scam, and What Should Be Your Next Steps?

With the innovative tricks scammers are using today, spotting a scam can be challenging. However, there are a few ways to spot and avoid scams.

  • Unsolicited requests: Scammers often use unsolicited emails, phone calls, or text messages to initiate contact. Therefore, be cautious of any unexpected communication.
  • Unbelievable offers: Be wary of “too good to be true” offers like prizes, free money, or jobs that require no qualifications or experience.
  • Personal information request: You should never provide personal information like social security numbers, bank details, and login credentials unless you trust the source.
  • Payment requests: Scammers often request payment in advance using various methods like cryptocurrency.

These are just a few ways you can fall into the trap of scammers. Remember, they are always coming up with new tactics, so staying vigilant and informed is important.

Tips to Prevent Scams

Scamming will continue to exist for as long as the internet remains, and we can bet on that. Therefore, you must know how to avoid those tricks and protect your personal information. Here are a few ways to avoid scams.

Don’t Give Your Personal or Financial Information

An honest organization won’t text, email, or call you to ask for your bank account details, social security number, or credit card numbers. Therefore, if you get such a request, especially from an unknown source, do not give away your details.

Use Email Filters

Email filters automatically send suspicious emails to your spam folder to prevent phishing emails from reaching your inbox.

Privacy Settings

Adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts to limit the amount of personal information that is publicly visible. Also, be cautious of what you post online and avoid sharing sensitive information.

Stay Safe Online

Today, people get scammed daily through online job scams and technology support scams, among other scams. What’s more, attackers are constantly upping their game to exploit vulnerabilities. Therefore, you must be wary of such scams and take preventive measures against scams.

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