Five Keys To Detect (And Avoid) Internet Fraud

Fraudsters use increasingly sophisticated strategies and technologies to commit crimes online.

From smishing to fraudulent job offers, cybercriminals have expanded their tactics, and today, with the widespread use of mobile, they can reach their victims anytime, anywhere. 

Next May 17th Internet Day takes place and, to celebrate it, the online bank N26 has drawn up a list with the five basic security keys to avoid falling into fraud.

  1. Use of security features (fingerprint, facial recognition)

Nowadays, technology makes available to the consumer a large number of functionalities that, when used properly, protect the user against external attacks. A clear case is biometric data,  such as fingerprints and facial recognition. This secure access ensures that only the authorized user can access the information.  

Two-step authentication,  which requires verification of identity to log in, is another way to protect our data and avoid scams, as it creates a double barrier for the criminal. For example, in the case of N26, when logging in it is also necessary to enter the password or verify the identity by biometric means to certify that it is the legitimate owner who is trying to access the account. 

Finally, it is also convenient to activate instant notifications.  Thus, if you are the victim of an attack, you can quickly identify yourself and take the necessary measures -change passwords, cancel credit cards, report false profiles, etc.- before the situation escalates. 

  1. Protect yourself against phishing 

Phishing is a scam whereby cyber criminals try to trick their victims into providing sensitive data or downloading malicious software. It is usually disguised as communication that appears to come from a legitimate source. It is one of the most widespread crimes on the internet and it comes in various forms, from massive attacks to personalized attempts. In any case, we must be very careful whenever a communication asks us to send confidential information.

Some of the precautions you can take to protect yourself from phishing include checking that your devices have up -to date security software and installing an anti-phishing browser extension. Two-step authentication is also insurance against these scams. However, the most important thing is to always be alert to identify these types of communications and not post personal information on the Internet. 

  1. The devil is in the details 

If the technology fails to intercept the attempted cybercrime, there are small habits the user can adopt to identify online fraud and prevent falling for it. The first is to look for small errors,  such as misspellings, typos, or errors in the URL. Another key is to question redirected websites.  It is easy to make sure if a website is secure or not: you just have to look for the padlock symbol, click on it, and verify the credentials of the page, checking that the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is valid and in whose name is issued. 

It is essential to take these precautions on websites and applications that request the sending of personal data, especially when they request it urgently.  Hackers use this tactic to disrupt the decision-making process. In general, companies do not coerce their customers to carry out a certain action. 

  1. A good c0Ntr4$Eñ4  

This advice deserves its category given its particular relevance. Cybercriminals find it easier to find simple passwords in a password dictionary (the popular belief that hackers guess passwords by trying all possible combinations manually is wrong). 

The golden rule is not to establish passwords that contain words or numbers directly related to the user’s life,  because they are easy data for hackers to identify. Likewise, it is advisable to avoid repetitions, numerical sequences, or series that form a pattern on the keyboard. The key is to choose words and numbers at random. 

 Password managers make the whole process easier, preventing the user from having to remember all the passwords. With these administrators, it is only necessary to remember a single password, through which you can access the rest that is stored in an encrypted manner.  

  1. Monitor device connections 

It is important to disable public access Wi-Fi connections and the Bluetooth function when it is not necessary or in areas with open networks. Devices connect automatically, and through these connections, a third party can access and take data relatively easily. You should be especially careful when entering the bank app or similar; Even if it is a private Wi-Fi network, it must have the WPA2 security system.

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