According to the World Economic Forum, people in the United States were the target of 23-percent of global internet attacks last year. Staying safe is often as easy as staying educated.
Your phone, your email, even your Facebook can all be the target of scammers. Here are some of the newest scams you should be aware of.
First, apps that aren’t familiar. Be careful downloading and using apps you don’t know about, as they can be used to steal your information. Be sure to do your research before using any app.
Next is the remote access scam. People will contact you claiming to work for Microsoft and ask to connect to your computer to fix a virus. From there they can take card information or even install an actual virus.
Tech experts think cloud storage systems may be the next target for scammers or hackers. The World Economic Forum believes intensifying cyber-attacks will be a defining global business issue for 2014.
The FBI offers the following advice you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:
- Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
- Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
- Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files; the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
- Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
- Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they match and will lead you to a legitimate site.
- Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
- Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify that the e-mail is genuine.
- If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency that requires your attention, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
- Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.