Internet fraud is type of crime where the perpetrator or wrongdoer develops and practices a scheme that using different elements of the web, the purpose of which is to deprive or rob a person of any interest like property, estate, money, right by a false representation of a matter of fact, through offering misleading information or by concealing real and factual information.
It’s no secret that businesses today, whether small or large scale are relying on the internet to expand their market. Of course, that’s because the modern day consumer will be looking at shopping online more frequently. With electronic communication for business transactions, illegal activities are also increasing, hence fraudulent schemes and scams rising on unprecedented levels.
Website hacking and fraud are two of the major components of internet crime. They started to become a major concern in the 1990s and now they’re like a plague. As a matter of fact, authorities are addressing the issue by creating a special investigative body like the National White Collar Crime Center.
Below is a list of the most commonly practiced online fraud and scams:
- Online auction – Unsuspecting auction participants will win the bid, pay for the product, and then realize the product or the auction is a hoax and there is in fact no product to receive. This is practiced even in popular and highly secured websites like eBay.
- Fake Check – There are consumers who will use fake checks when paying for products sold online.
- Nigerian Money Offer – This usually victimizes unsuspecting women who are promised to be provided with a box of goods or huge amounts of money, provided they first send a small amount for the processing and transfer fee.
- Lottery – You will receive an email about your name, phone number, or any personal detail chosen as the winner of a lottery draw. You will be required to pay the processing fee before claiming the prize.
- Advance Fee Loan – A personal loan that doesn’t require documents or anything promises sure approval in a day or two, provided you send a fee for the processing.
- Phishing – These are emails that pretend to be a representative of a reliable source. They’ll ask consumers for their personal details and information, including phone number, address, and credit card information.
- Investments/Get Rich Fast – This is probably one of the most effective. You will be given false and very outrageous promises of doubling your money when you invest in something which doesn’t really exist.
Tips on how to avoid getting hacked:
1. HTTPS Everywhere
This is probably the easiest of the bunch. It’s actually an add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera that you can use in order to make sure that whenever you visit a website with data encryption, you get to use it.
2. Software Updates
If you’re familiar with your computer and you know your internet, you should know the importance of software updates. Keep in mind that the purpose of updates is to prevent hackers from exploiting the vulnerabilities of the old version or patch. So when the company that makes your software informs you of an update, you have to do it as soon as you can.
3. Two-Factor Authentication
The most popular websites you go to like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail have a similar security feature called the two-factor authentication. This works by using your smart phone for an extra layer of security when you’re logging in to your account. The moment you entered your password, you will be prompted to type in a numeric code that is sent to your phone.
4. Anonymous Web Browsing
It is always recommended to browse the web anonymously. It means you will want to leave little or even zero digital footprint or trail when you search the internet for information. For instance, there are web browsers that will bounce your communication to computers all over the world. Therefore, hackers will find it difficult to learn about your location and they can’t monitor you.
5. Protect Your Email
Finally, go to Google and search for several ways on how to protect your email. Bear in mind that hackers will most likely get personal information from you through your email.
Hacking and online fraud are fruits of technology – the effects of the unregulated internet access. But while they are prevalent and rampant, it doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself from them. You just have to know how to avoid being vulnerable.
Interesting Facts about Internet Hacking