I don’t care who you are, as long as I know your weakness I will find my way into your hard-drive and your accounts and come away with your identity. And … you’re going to hate this bit … you won’t know a thing about it. Unless, of course, you read this article from start to finish. There’s no room for skimming and scanning if you don’t want to get scammed. There are many ways I can scam you, and these are my favourites:
You could be at the airport. You could be having a triple whip at Starbucks. In fact, you could be anywhere that has all-access free wi-fi. Wherever you are, I will be there too. I’ll be set up with a phishing hotspot, waiting for you to click a button and voila! I am inside your device.
Personally, I would never use free wifi that isn’t password protected.
Let your browser remember your passwords. Just tick “Remember Me” and save your info for quick log-ons.
That way, I can peruse through the archives of data on your device, get a list of all your most personal information (banking accounts, social media pages and any dirty little secrets you think you can hide) and voila! I can now be you.
Personally, I never save my passwords to my browser. I use a password management software like 1Password.
I sometimes disguise myself as a trusted organisation like Google, a government agency or your bank. I come to you in the form of an unsolicited email, SMS or phone call. With a few trademark lines and a familiar spiel, I trick you into giving me your personal details. This classic little tactic is called “phishing”.
Personally, I always delete, ignore or hang up.
I will call you, or send a pop-up window to appear on your computer. It informs you that I’ve detected a virus, or that your data has been compromised. You will believe me because I say that I’m calling from Apple or Microsoft, and I use a lot of technical terms. You eventually give me remote access to your computer so that I can diagnose the problem. But what I’m really doing is downloading malware so that I can gain access to your sensitive data like usernames and passwords, or sell you software to fix a non-existent problem by getting you to give me your credit card details.
Personally, I would never click on suspicious pop-up windows and immediately hang up on so-called tech-support callers.
This paragraph talks about how they appeal to curiosity cats by attaching something interesting to email, Make them say “yes” on the phone. Could be a FB friend with an attachment. Or colleague. Usually something strange. Do not open. Do not click link. Check with your friend colleague first.
I am an expert at manipulating you into opening suspicious attachments. I am a real pro at crafting corrupt links. I am an award winner at catching you off guard. It’s pretty easy once I fool you into thinking I’m your FB friend or work colleague with an attachment they need you to open.
Personally, I would always check with the friend or colleague first before anything else.
Temptation is my middle name. I will sell you a Dream. I will tease you with some low-hanging fruit (easy financial loans, winning lottery tickets, or a dazzling competition prize). I will sell you the most fabulous, amazing, sensantional product or service by making you buy a gift card. In short, I’ll make you think it’s your lucky day.
Personally, I know that if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true.
I’m a thief in the digital world. I thrive on the fact that people aren’t aware of their online footprint. Now that you’re well versed in my ways of persuasion and trickery, you know how to think:
Be suspicious. Be smart. Be mindful, and you won’t be sucked in.