Protecting Yourself from Internet Scams
In today’s digital age, we are more connected than ever before. We rely on the internet for everything from shopping to banking to staying in touch with friends and family. While the internet has made our lives easier in many ways, it has also opened up new opportunities for scammers and cybercriminals.
According to Blake Dowling, a cybersecurity expert, the best way to protect yourself from internet scams is to become the human firewall. This means taking proactive steps to safeguard your personal information and be vigilant about the emails, messages, and websites you interact with.
Turn it off
One of the simplest ways to protect yourself from internet scams is to turn off your computer or device when you’re not using it. This prevents hackers from gaining access to your personal information when you’re not around.
Additionally, Dowling recommends turning off any unnecessary features or settings on your devices, such as location services or automatic login. By limiting the amount of personal information you share online, you reduce your risk of falling victim to scams.
Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods, making it harder to spot a scam. However, Dowling advises being skeptical of any unsolicited emails, messages, or phone calls that ask for personal information or money.
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to question the legitimacy of a request or offer.
Use strong passwords
Another important step in becoming the human firewall is using strong, unique passwords for all of your online accounts. Dowling recommends using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and avoiding common phrases or easily guessable information.
It’s also crucial to change your passwords regularly and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. This way, if one account is compromised, your other accounts remain secure.
Keeping up to date with the latest scams and cybersecurity threats is essential in protecting yourself online. Dowling suggests following reputable cybersecurity blogs, news outlets, and social media accounts to stay informed.
By staying informed, you can learn about new scams and tactics being used by cybercriminals and take the necessary precautions to avoid falling victim.
If you do come across a scam or suspect that you have been targeted, it’s important to report it. Dowling advises contacting your local law enforcement agency and filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Reporting scams not only helps protect yourself but also helps authorities track down and prosecute scammers, preventing them from victimizing others.
Internet scams are a real threat in today’s digital world, but by becoming the human firewall, you can protect yourself and your personal information. By following the advice of cybersecurity expert Blake Dowling, such as turning off your devices when not in use, being skeptical of unsolicited requests, using strong passwords, staying informed, and reporting scams, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to internet scams.