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People are more vulnerable to hackers. Here’s how you can guard against them.

Here at YK Communications, we all know the feeling, that awful sinking in your stomach when you realize you’ve clicked a link that you shouldn’t have. Maybe you were in a hurry, or it was a popup ad.

Also see YK’s How To Avoid Facebook Scams.

Whatever the reason, you reacted quickly and clicked a suspicious link or gave away personal information before realizing you had made a mistake. You are not alone.

In a 2020 survey, 43% of people admitted to making a mistake at work that had security repercussions, and nearly half of people working in the tech industry said they have clicked on a phishing email at work.

Most data breaches occur because of human error. Hackers are well aware of this and know exactly how to manipulate people into slipping up. 

They are taking advantage of psychological factors such as stress, social relationships and uncertainty that affect people’s decision-making. 

Your personal information is a valuable commodity for hackers and scammers. Understanding and knowing the signs of scammers can help you to avoid becoming a victim of hackers and costly scams. 

Four Signs It’s A Scam and How to Avoid It

1. Scammers pretend to be from an organization you know.

Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government. They might use a real name, like the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be from a business you know, like a utility company, a tech company, or even a charity asking for donations.

They use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So the name and number you see might not be real. 

Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers.

If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy. Or look up their phone number. Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.

2. Scammers say there’s a problem or a prize.

They might say you’re in trouble with the government, you owe money, someone in your family had an emergency, or there’s a virus on your computer.

Some scammers say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information.

Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.

The term, “It’s too good to be true,” should be utilized and lead to investigating a problem or prize. Take steps to block unwanted calls and text messages by registering on the National Do Not Call Registry. 

3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately.

Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you can’t check out their story.

They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted.

Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.

4. Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.

They often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back.

Some will send you a check, tell you to deposit it, and then send them money. Then, that check will turn out to be fake. 

Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.

Most importantly, stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone, a friend, a family member, a neighbor what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.

If you were scammed or think you saw a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

At YK Communications, we’re here to help. We offer information concerning the ever changing tech industry through our Technology and Business Blog and have our Technical Support readily available 24/7. 

For more information or to learn more about our services, visit our website

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