5 Internet Scams and Hacks to Watch Out For

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Everytime we go online, we know there are plenty of cyber threats hiding in the digital shadows, many of which can sneak malicious data and viruses onto your internet-connected device of choice. You’re just as much at risk of compromising your data security whether on a laptop, smartphone, or even a gaming console. All it takes is an active internet connection and a few poorly thought-out choices – if the latter occurs, no amount of security is going to save you.

Today, let’s help you make more informed and calculated decisions with your online activity. Here are some of the most significant internet scams and hacks to watch out for.

Phishing Scams

See an email in your inbox that’s either suspicious, threatening or offering a tempting incentive? Check the source. Phishing scams are increasingly common as more folks are working remotely or stuck at home, so of course, hackers will know that we’ll be glued to our devices more frequently. Data theft is rampant in the online world right now, as cyber thieves know they can run off with more information as we use our internet connection more. All it takes is clicking a single link within an email or accepting a message request on social media from someone you don’t know. It can even happen on sites such as Linkedin if you connect with individuals who aren’t really who they say they are. Our recommendation – in addition to having a strong firewall and security-focused internet service setup – is to carefully examine the sender’s address. If it looks suspicious or unofficial, don’t be afraid to question the validity of its contents. Deleting the email or message is a good way to ensure you don’t fall victim to it later on; if it’s really important, chances are they’ll follow up, but if it’s a scam, you likely won’t hear from them again.

Tax Scams

Nobody likes tax time, and nobody likes having to pay. However, if you fall for attempts to obtain your SIN number and other highly sensitive credentials, you may be stuck paying for a whole lot more. Digital fraud is on the rise in Canada, from IP addresses and contact details to passwords, usernames, banking info, and even entire identities – but don’t let that scare you. Instead, train your mind to be proactive and careful about what information you give out, and never provide sensitive details if someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency asks you for it. Such details will not be requested in an email or phone call. 

Fake “Services”

Are you seeing an online service provider such as a streaming or VPN company you’ve never heard of? Do your research. Check sites such as Glassdoor and the Better Business Bureau to see if they are a legitimate operation, and dedicated subreddits may also paint a clearer picture as members have to abide by strict posting and forum participation rules. If someone is asking you for your credit card details before sharing more information about their services, run as far away in the opposite direction as possible. Like any normal relationship, you need to get to know one another first – you wouldn’t ask for money when you shake someone’s hand!

Granting Remote Device Control

Ever receive one of those suspicious phone calls from “Microsoft” claiming your laptop is hacked, and that you need to grant them access to your device remotely? Hang up the phone and block the number. This isn’t as common as it was a few years ago, but with IP tracing and other sneaky operations, hackers can still identify and reach out to potential targets, usually going for those who are less experienced with technology and therefore easier to convince. Never give anyone the ability to remotely control your device unless it is through an official support channel – Apple support has this option when performing virtual diagnostic services, for instance.

Buy to Win? Don’t Buy it!

We bet you’ve seen plenty of social media posts and ads claiming to boost your company’s revenue, help you make money instantly or otherwise. These scams are easy to spot – they always sound immediately too good to be true, often to the point where they sound like magic tricks. There are some legitimate offers that could benefit you, but again, you need to do your research well in advance – and especially before clicking any links!

Smarter browsing, data sharing and online interactions lead to a safer and more enjoyable internet user experience, and no ISP can do this for you! Bring your street smarts into your home and work use of network capabilities, and we’re sure that you’ll run into far fewer risks and complications. For more information about our cybersecurity precautions and internet services, contact us at KWIC Internet today – we’re happy to help ensure tremendous value and peace of mind!