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Tips for Protecting Yourself from Cyber Criminals


Cybercrimes have become one of the most dangerous security risks in this technology-driven era. You don’t have to go far to hear horror stories of unsuspecting citizens being taken advantage of on the news or see some businesses being scammed out of large sums of money due to a security breach. The unfortunate truth is cybercrimes are very real in 2019! In fact, it is estimated that by 2021 that there will be about $6 trillion in damages that will be attributed to cybercrimes globally.1

In the following post, we have highlighted a few actions and behaviors to be on the lookout for when it comes to dealing with cyber criminals. Take a look at our tips below for the best ways to avoid becoming a victim!

1. This first step comes straight out of the hit TV show, “Catfish”. If you believe you are in a relationship with someone whom you have met online, be very careful in the information you disclose to this person. One step you can take in order to determine the legitimacy of this person is through a reverse image search.2 The steps to do this are as follows:

  •  Right click on the image and select “Search for image.”
  •  Right click again and select “Save image as” to save the photo to your device.
  •  Using a search engine, choose the small camera icon to upload the saved image into the search engine.

Conducting a reverse image search will help you discover if who you have been speaking to is using someone else’s photographic identity to build trust with you.

2. Often times you will be able to tell if someone is attempting to scam you if they are requesting funds via wire transfer. The FBI highly encourages the public to never wire transfer funds to a person you have met online. Once you have wired money to someone that money is more than likely gone. It is very difficult to track where the money was wired and who was behind the scam.

3. Avoid becoming a “money mule”. Unfortunately, there are times where victims will be tricked into coordinating illegal money transfers that they are completely unaware of. Cyber criminals will gain the trust of the victim over time and, potentially, promise compensation in return for the victim’s bank account information for sending and receiving funds illegally. Basically, you are unknowingly handling the illegal money transferring for the criminals, which can land you in prison.

We encourage you to learn more about the dangers of becoming a “money mule” here, https://bit.ly/2NUXGJq.

For any of the aforementioned tips, we strongly encourage you to practice good judgment and not disclose any information without going through the proper channels of personal security.

We also encourage you to take cybercrime very seriously! Thus far, in 2019, it is estimated that the hacker’s success rate in cybercrime attacks has risen to 78%.3 Stay vigilant and keep the above ideas stashed away in case you happen to run into a situation where you or a loved one might be a target.

1 - https://cybersecurityventures.com/hackerpocalypse-cybercrime-report-2016/
2 - https://www.ic3.gov/media/2019/190805.aspx
3 - https://www.comparitech.com/vpn/cybersecurity-cyber-crime-statistics-facts-trends/

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