The age of the internet is at its prime and virtually everyone around the globe wants to be on the internet to make use of it for social, business and educational purposes. The fact that the internet does not come with the provision of a security manual for users to follow, makes it an open deep grave of danger and traps. Therefore, this article will list various types of internet traps and the ways to avoid them.
1. PHISHING: This is one of the most popular reigning traps for stealing personal information on the internet. Phishing is a fraudulent act of sending an email that contains a decoy, appearing to be from a real and reputable company. The purpose of sending a phishing email is to make people reveal their personal information. Once clicked on, the link would direct them to a fake interface where they would be asked to enter their personal information. For instance, credit card details bank account details, etc.
2. SPEAR PHISHING: Spear phishing is similar to phishing. Unlike phishing which targets a large number of people, spear phishing is orchestrated by sending an email that contains a decoy link to just a targeted and well-scouted individual or company. Spear phishing aims to gain access into the individual’s or company’s database and get information that can be used for fraudulent acts.
3. VISHING: Vishing is simply a phishing trap that’s carried out with phone calls. A cybercriminal fakes his/her caller ID and voice through some certain software so that he/she can appear to be calling from a particular location. It can be a fake call from your bank and the caller would be disguised to be the bank staff to get personal information from you.
4. BUYER BEWARE: Buyer beware is a Latin phrase “Caveat Emptor” which can also mean “sold as it is”. This term means that the buyer of a product assumes the risk that comes with the product he/she is proposing to buy, and that the product may fail to meet his expectations. The buyer assumes full responsibility for the product as it is. In agreement to this term, a buyer has no recourse with the seller if the product fails to meet the expectations in the nearest future. In a case whereby a seller wants to scam a buyer, the seller would make the buyer agree to a buyer beware terms and conditions unknowingly and blindly and let the buyer accept the product as is it without being able to complain.
5. CATFISHING: Catfishing is an online deceptive activity that’s associated with dating websites. A cybercriminal impersonates another person to date someone else online for financial extortion, abuse, etc. They can ask their victims to send money to them or provide his/her credit/debit card details.
6. CONTACT SPAMMING: Spam is any form of an unwanted and uninvited message or advertisement that was sent out in bulk to people, and enters your email without your permission or subscription. It is a threat that disturbs and breach your email privacy. It is also a means cybercriminals use to steal individuals’ and firms’ information.
7. BAITING: Baiting is luring or getting to someone with the use of gifts, rewards, and prizes. By sparring up the greed and curiosity, the victim will unknowingly submit his/her valuable information or even financial details to the cybercriminals. For instance, if a cybercriminal decides to attack a company and steal information from them, he/she can visit the company and send out free flash drivers that are malware-infected to the staff of the company. Once one of the staff uses the flash drive at work, the company’s system will be infected with spy malware. That would give the cybercriminal access to the company’s data and files.
How To Avoid Internet Trap
Whenever you receive a call from an individual or firm, verify the call and caller’s identity before answering the caller’s questions. For example, use an official directory, or app like True Caller to know the details behind the number that’s calling you. Do not give out your personal information to the caller if you’re not sure of his realness.
Do not agree to a transaction deal without having the full knowledge about the terms and conditions of the deal. When dealing with a transaction, read through the terms and conditions and check the product you want to buy thoroughly. Also, don’t purchase goods from an untrusted online store.
To avoid spamming, keep your anti-virus software up to date. Make use of anti-spam tools and avoid clicking popups and buttons that lead to extraordinary free gifts. Have more than one email and separate them for different purposes.
More importantly, individuals and companies should always make use of a strong VPN to secure their activities and information on the internet. Companies should get anti-malware software installed on their systems to avoid theft of credible data and information.