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We live in an era where we are continually connected to the internet in some way, shape, or form. Everything we do seems to be connected to the World Wide Web, from reading news articles and visiting forums to checking emails and doing our banking online.

While this interconnectedness has a plethora of positives, it naturally comes with a bunch of negatives, including cybercriminals who will do everything in their power to make a quick buck.

How To Keep Yourself Safe From Email Scammers

Everyone says it is essential to stay safe online, but only a few inform you how to do this. As someone who has spent between 10-16 hours per day on the internet for the past 20 years and has never fallen for a scam or had a single virus, I am well-placed to write you a guide on how to keep yourself safe from online scammers.

Install a Respected VPN on Your Computer and Devices

GetIntoPC has dozens of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for you to download, and I cannot stress enough their importance. VPNs act as a middleman between your device and the websites you access, masking your IP address and making it impossible for anyone to track your internet activity. They also come with many other features, including allowing you to access the MyBookie welcome bonus from anywhere in the world, killswitches, watching Netflix movies not yet available in your location, encrypting your connection, and much more.

A VPN offers unrivaled privacy for a very low cost, often less than a monthly takeout coffee. In short, you cannot afford not to have a VPN installed on your devices.

Your Vigilance is Your First Line of Defence

How To Keep Yourself Safe From Email Scammers 2

Over 90 percent of cyberattacks begin with a phishing email, showing the importance of remaining vigilant when accessing the internet. Cybercriminals send phishing emails (an email that looks like it is from a legitimate source) in an attempt to have you send them personal information, such as your date of birth, social security number, and bank account details.

Some of these phishing emails look legitimate, which is why so many people fall for these scams. However, there are a few things you can look out for that help you figure out if the email is legitimate or an attempt to relieve you of personal information.

First, every business will address you by your name and not “Dear Customer” or use your email address instead of your name. The first significant red flag is an email addressed to you that does not use your name and title.

Second, check the email sender’s address. Often, they will be a random bunch of letters or someone’s name attached to a Google account. Companies, especially financial institutions, always use a company email address. If the sender’s address looks legit at first glance, double-check its spelling.

Next, no legitimate company will ever ask you for password details or other personal information via email. If an email is requesting sensitive data, it is almost certainly a phishing attempt.

Lastly, contact the business directly if you are still in doubt. A quick telephone call to a company and asking their customer support team if they have contacted you should clear up any confusion. Ensure you call a number you know is legitimate and not any phone numbers displayed on the email because scammers often have fake customer service agents waiting for you to call!

Most Anti-Virus Software Is Not Worth The Money

I bought every anti-virus software when I started frequenting the internet in the early 2000s. Such software was essential in those days because the internet was in its relevant infancy, and people were blissfully unaware of the dangers cybercriminals posed.

However, this is no longer the case. As a PC user, I find Windows Defender, which comes preinstalled on Windows-powered machines, to be more than robust enough for most internet users. Use the money saved on not purchasing anti-virus and firewall software to buy a top-tier VPN instead.

Ensure your operating system is up-to-date by installing updates and patches Microsoft deploys. Do the same with all of your software and the applications installed on your phone or tablet. These patches not only iron out bugs but close potential security vulnerabilities, too.

Similarly, use different passwords for every website that requires a log-in and ensure those passwords are strong. A strong password comprises upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols and is at least eight characters, preferably 12. Avoid using words that can be linked to you. Instead, look around your surroundings or open a random book page and use one of those words before disguising it.

Having different passwords means your other accounts remain safe and secure if one of your passwords is compromised.

If It Is Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is!

There is a saying that goes, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.” While that sounds silly, it essentially states that if something looks like a scam, then it probably is one.

Everyone has received the “Nigerian Prince” email scam at some point. It is such a common scam that it has been immortalized as a meme. You know, the one where you receive an email claiming you have a long-lost relative who has died in a tragic accident and has left you a ridiculous sum like $295 million in their will.

Although offering a life-changing sum sets alarm bells ringing, some too-good-to-be-true emails are more subtle. For example, an email or website may claim to provide you with a free iPhone for clicking on a link and entering a few personal details. Others may offer free or heavily discounted subscriptions to popular products or services. All of the too-good-to-be-true offers are scams designed to harvest your personal information or have you install malicious software on your computer or internet-ready devices.

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