How to avoid cyber crime

  • Firstly, always remember that any interaction that comes via email that you did not initiate, needs careful inspection to establish if it is authentic. Attacks like “phishing” will send you an email from an impersonated identity making you an offer that may be too good to be true; this will then get you to follow a link included in the email that will lead to a fraudulent website.
  • Always ensure that you really look at the email address to make sure that it is correct. Hackers are smart enough to create fake websites, apps and even companies that bear close resemblance to those that are popular and well known.
  • Be sure to look for the indication of a secure website to certify that it is an entity that really exists. You can see that it is a secure website by the first part of the website URL that will be https:// with the “s” standing for secure. You will also see the browser displaying a yellow padlock which shows that the site has been identified by a Certificate Authority that did identity proofing on the company and website.
  • To be safer, one should simply type in the URL of an online retailer instead of following prompts and links from emails or search engines. This way you are sure of shopping where you intended to instead of a fake retail site. Researchers say that over 100 000 fake retail sites were detected during the last Black Friday and holiday shopping season.
  • Also be careful of downloading apps from websites or from links in emails. Rather look for the app yourself on the relevant app store and make sure that you are getting a shopping app from a legitimate company.

Information supplied by LAWtrust

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