NOT giving a f**k staying safe online could put you at high risk

How to keep safe online?

Cause NOT giving a f**k staying safe online could put you at high risk

Yes, dear ladies, we are still hearing and talking about keeping safe while using the internet, and despite all those warnings around us, not staying safe online is becoming easier day by day and sadly we see so many victims around us…

Social media platforms, online shopping, various platforms, and internet applications, catchy e-mails are the easiest way to get you trapped especially when using sophisticated appealing messages, taking advantage of certain unfulfilled needs, vulnerability, and the allegedly right call to (poor) action.

My purpose is to bring joy over fifties and to sustain this I also need to keep you more alert about fraud and all naughty triggers from the internet and protect you, yet using the reversed psychology (the technique involving the assertion of a belief or behavior opposite to the intended one, expecting that this approach will encourage you to do what actually is desired).

How to keep safe online
Keep safe online - Pixabay Rupixen

The best way and reasons to don’t keep safe online!

Let scammers into your life! The more the merrier – joy for the scammers, not for you!

What are online scams?

The online scams appears when criminals use the internet to try to con people into giving them money or personal information. 

And as stated by Norton - “Internet scams are different methodologies of Fraud, facilitated by cybercriminals on the Internet. Scams can happen in a myriad of ways- via phishing emails, social media, SMS messages on your mobile phone, fake tech support phone calls, scareware, and more.

And I would also mention: 
- computer viruses
- fake websites
- online shopping
- e-mail scams
- dating/ relationship scams
- health scams

Back to our stuff, ladies! 

We can easily get trapped by online shopping that occasionally can make our lives easier, but this also creates plenty of opportunities for an online scam.

So, if you’re tempted to do any of the below, chances are to become a scam victim:

- get a computer virus that interferes with your files ruining data or stealing personal information;
The same could happen with public wireless/ wifi connections in public areas, 
- access fake websites usually created to mirror a well-known company’s site (Amazon/ Amazon Prime, PayPal, Lloyds Bank, John Lewis, etc) yet with tiny discrepancies not always noticed at first sight;
- you find an online company which offers to help you apply for a new driving license or a passport renewal; such websites charge extra money for something that it is free or they’ll get your personal information and use it… as they know best - for their own good;
- buy from poorly designed websites sometimes showing cheaper products, get hooked by lottery prize or other “you’re the winner of $1.000.000” and provide all your personal details (when you are perfectly aware that you never bought a ticket or looked into such thing before);
- got an iPhone pop up message on you mobile or laptop – click on it and they’ll “vacuum” your personal information;
- are vulnerable mid-aged women, widowed, single, divorced, or just came out from a toxic relationship, willing to start a new chapter of your life and give a go with a dating/ online platform, once they’ve twisted your mind and gained your trust, you may become a victim of their manipulative scams when they’ll start telling you an emotional or hard luck story than asking you for money;
- looking for a miracle health treatment and less expensive clinics to cure various health issues, eventually for some more intimate aspects (weight loss, against hair loss, boobs enhancement and so many more) you are likely to become a victim and pay for items that never come, receive parcels with ridiculous things inside, be poor quality harmful to your health, and definitely with your money gone;
- get a phone call from someone pretending to be from a well-known bank or software company, saying that is a problem with your bank account or computer and needing to get access to it asking you to update details/ lots of personal details.
None legitimate company will contact customers this way. If you’ll enjoy chatting and don’t hang up straight away, they’ll let you banana! Peeled off!

Staying safe online
Staying safe online - Pixabay BiljaST

So, the easiest way to help scammers and criminals let you without a penny or worst stealing your identity, do one of the following… or all of them!

1. Do not protect your desktop/ laptop/ tablet/ mobile!

- do not install a proper anti-virus/ anti-spyware/ firewall software (Norton, McAfee, AVG, Avast, Microsoft Security Essentials);
- do not keep your computer/ mobile updated;
- let everyone know your network/ device/ password; 
- always open attachments from unknown sources to quickly get the latest virus release. It's trendy!
Any of the above will enable criminals to take control of your computer/ mobile, slow it down, send out spam email to others or delete your files or the virus scan your device for personal information. 
No, you’ll not become Rockefeller! 

2. Put all your personal data and private information public on social media platforms or reveal them out loud while in public transportation! 

Quickly, grab a banner, and don't miss to add the free cuppa coffee invite!
- talk freely and loud with a friend on mobile while you're in a taxi or any public transportation, tell her/ him your credentials, bank detail, access password, thinking that you're safe, and only your friend will know all that info - while absorbed in conversation you may not realize the extra ears around vigilant and thirsty "info sponges" ready to use/ sell-out/ take advantage of your personal info;
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter networking sites offer great ways to keep in touch with other people, make new friends, share photos, articles, get invites to social events, and much more, yet if you are not using the privacy features to restrict access to information that identifies you (full name, address, date of birth, telephone number, relatives) you’re the juicy “sweetie pie” for fraud and criminals. What do you choose?

3. Online shopping and charity funds anywhere everywhere!

- do not be cautious when entering your personal information and credit card details on shopping websites;
- access any online shopping platform, fill up the basket, pay for the chosen product and, happy shopper - flower power, do not log out letting all your information "hanging" on ether free serve for hackers and criminals to use further your banking details and buy stuff using your details;
- do not check if a charity organization is real and where do they send the money, if it’s for an honest genuine purpose or just to get into certain people’s pockets avoiding taxes.

Fraudsters common signs and deadly dangers:

Usually, fraudsters are creating very similar pages to main online producers and shopping websites, often making them look genuine and professional, yet you can still notice:
- domain name ending with ".net" or ".org";
- big tempting discounts - that should ring you the alarm, as if a product is massively discounted, it may not be a genuine offer or brand;
- poor image quality (blurry) and/ or not enough photos for advertised product - that proves that photos are taken from another source;
- spelling errors - a reliable company can afford to pay the marketing team to check for written mistakes (grammar, spelling, orthography);
- no "contact us" page, one with a P.O. box or an inquiry template that shows no company details - any genuine business has a physical address, phone number, bank account, registration, and VAT no. shown that can be verified anytime;
- no refund policy - be reluctant to buy if the seller does not have a proper refund policy - information/ terms and conditions for returns;
- no secure payment - genuine professional websites have a secure payment set in place, and you can notice an "https" instead of "http" URL, and also see the highlighted lock symbol on your web browser that indicates if payment is secure;
- too many enthusiastic reviews that do not really describe a product, it's features and functionality, but the delivery time - eventually check if it's a "verified purchaser".

Before buying from a suspicious website/ seller, do some research!

NEVER pay for products using a bank transfer!

What should you do if you think you are a victim of an online scam?

- whenever you think it’s a scam, contact Action Fraud and the police;
- if your computer is not working properly or suspect that it may have a virus, contact a computer technician and install security protection software;
- if you have a wireless  router, make sure you’re using a secure network and password, and none else knows your access details;
- if using a public network, avoid accessing sensitive websites revealing your passwords, name, date of birth, phone number, or address; 
- try searching on websites with URL address starting with “https” (where “s” stands for secure),  the address bar green, and a padlock symbol in the browser where the website address is, and to see the company’s full contact details on the webpage, which are additional signs for a safe website;
- avoid pop-up messages and "important" alerts that often redirect you to fake pages;
- when suspicious, trust your gut, and if somehow still interested in a certain offer/ product, check the company’s details, the online reviews; 
- if possible, always use the same credit card for internet transactions, one that has very little money on it and that you can cancel anytime;
- never send money to unknown persons (met on the internet) or give them your account details.

Report and get your money back!

- if you end up buying a fake product and you only realize this once delivered to you (if ever), simply report it to your local Trading Standards Office, Action Fraud Police, or the online platform from where you bought it (Amazon, eBay, Assos, etc), and they will take action against the seller.
- if you used Paypal - you are covered by "buyers protection", and if you do not receive the product that you've paid for or is not as described, you'll get your money back;
- if you paid by card and the product is less than Gbp100 - ask your bank immediately for a refund based on "chargeback" that if accepted by card provider will void the transaction;
- if you paid by credit card and the item was between Gbp100 - 3000, contact your card provider and claim your money back under section 75 rules.

Keep in mind that online scams are changing all the time and scammers are constantly finding new ways to trick people; do not fall into their trap! 
We are looking for joy over the fifties, not c**p! Take care and stay safe online!

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