Unfortunately, scams are all too common nowadays. Whether it’s somebody trying to fraudulently charge your credit card or hack into your bank account, it’s important to be vigilant about protecting your personal information online. If you’ve recently been the victim of a scam, there are a few steps you can take to reinforce your online security and reduce the risk of it happening again.
1. Strengthen Your Accounts
After you experience a scam, all of your accounts are increasingly susceptible to scams. This makes it even more important to set up multi factor authentication (MFA) and use unique passwords. After you’ve followed the immediate actions steps, be sure to review all of your accounts and enable multi factor authentication for an extra layer of security when logging in. MFA is especially important on accounts where any type of personal or financial information is stored. In addition, update your passwords to strong, unique passphrases or consider using a password manager.
2. Update Your Privacy Settings
Privacy settings allow you to decide how much information you share with others and who you share it with. These settings are available on most social media platforms and apps and can be customized to fit your needs. Be careful about what personal information you share online. Consider whether or not you need to share certain information—like your address or birthdate—and who will have access to it.
3. Educate Yourself and Be Vigilant
Finally, it is crucial that you educate yourself on the most common scams to protect yourself. Stay alert to common scams. To stay vigilant, always follow the three golden rules to spot a scam:
- Slow it down — Scammers will try to create a sense of urgency in order to get you to make a decision before you have time to think about it. Take your time and ask questions to avoid being rushed into a bad situation.
- Spot check — Do your research to double check the details you’re being told. A quick internet search of the person or organization who contacted you followed by the words “scam” or “complaint” can help you determine if it’s a scam.
- Stop! Don’t send — Scammers will try to steal your money by rushing you into paying with unconventional payment methods like gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfers. If they insist you pay using these methods, it’s likely a scam.