We are living in a technologically advanced world. Today, we are highly dependent on the technologies around us for almost all our everyday tasks. With numerous social media platforms, web applications, and mobile applications, we are on the internet a lot of the times.
However, you must have heard how every coin has two sides, and so does this one. With our personal information spread so much over the internet, things are sure to go out of hand. We are all aware of cyber scams happening all around us every day.
These cyber scams not just effect individuals but also companies, all big and small. Ethical hacking experts are professionals who help in these scenarios. In this blog, we are going to give you a tour about cyber scams. It is important to know how to identify cyber scams. Additionally, you will also gain tips to avoid common cyber scams.
There is a lot of learn in this field. With the right course, you will be able to become an expert ethical hacking professional too. Read the blog to know more about the basics of this field.
What is a Cyber Scam?
In simplest terms, a cyber scam is a scam that is done online. It is an unlawful attempt at gaining access to a system or a computer with the intent of causing damage. There are various kinds of cyber-attacks.
Such an attack can be directed towards any person. People with malicious mindset direct their greed towards both individuals and organizations. There are many ways through which one can attack you. Sometimes, even people with knowledge about such scams fall prey to them.
Since we spend so much of our time online, it is integral to understand what these cyber scams are, how to identify them and how to save ourselves from them as well. In this blog, we are going to explore each of these in parts.
How to Identify Cyber Scams?
There are dozens of ways in which an attacker will try to scam you. Here are some of the things a scammer would do to make you fall prey to their tricks.
Here are some warning signs to be wary of –
- They are Using Authority Names– Many scammers have resorted to using authority names to build trust. When they drop names such as that of the government, a major company, or bank, people generally tend to lower their guard. However, you should be more wary as people from these institutions do not just contact people out of the blue.
- They are Creating a Sense of Urgency – One of the most common tactics they pick is to create a sense of urgency. Giving you a time limit and talking rapidly leaves people in a haphazard state. Many people panic and succumb to the situation.
- They Contact you out of the blue – If you get a call, a message, or an email from a company out of nowhere, it is time to put your cautious glasses on. The one thing to keep is mind it to not click on any links. If you receive any of these from a known company name, dial a number you are aware of.
- They Prey on your Emotions – We are emotional beings. People in need tend to bend towards those who touch their emotional chords. Charity is one of the most common scams everywhere. They will pull your sympathetic side. People also fall for dating scams a lot, especially with the new found hype for such apps.
- They are Asking for Sensitive Information – These days we hear a lot about scammers asking for sensitive information such as PIN or OTPs. Such scams are amongst the most commonly carried out ones. Legitimate institutions never ask for these things and thus, one should be very careful about keeping them secure.
- They are Threatening Your – A lot of scammers choose to threaten by saying they are either from an agency or the police, and will issue a warrant or arrest you. People panic and give away information that is asked from them.
- They are Asking you to use Unusual Payment Options – Online payments are the new normal. Many people do not even carry cash these days. But many scammers ask for payment via non-reversible or untraceable options. You should never make payments through shady links.
- They have a Poor Email or Website Design – While every website or email with a poor design is not a scam, it should definitely send an off signal to you. Whatever you do next, be wary of the fact that it can also be a scam.
- Contact Information is Missing – Most scam pages are devoid of any contact information or support email address. However, with these scammers becoming smart, they might add a random number even. Always be certain to first check if the number is reachable and valid.
- They are asking your Download Attachments or Click a Link – Clicking on unsolicited links or downloading dodgy attachments is a direct way to get scammed. If someone is telling you to do it, then there is a good chance that person turns out to be a scammer.
These are some of the most common characteristics seen amongst cyber scams. However, these people are no saints and are continuously coming up with new ways to fool people out of money.
Let us now look at the most common types of cyber scams.
What are the Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks?
There are various types of cyber attacks that happen every minute around the world. Here are some of those. As you choose your ethical hacking training and certification course, you will learn about all of these and how to tackle them.
Here is a list of the most common types of cyber attacks –
- Malware-based attacks
- Man-in-the-middle attacks
- SQL injection attacks
- Zero-day exploits
- Drive-by download attacks
- Internet of Things (IoT) attacks
- URL manipulation
- Inside threats
- Phishing attacks
- Denial of Service attacks
- DNS tunnelling
- Password attacks
- XSS or Cross-site scripting attacks
- DNS spoofing
- Session hijacking
Tips to Avoid Common Cyber Scams
There are a lot of things you should keep in mind when working on the internet. With people becoming more cautious, scammers are also becoming more brutal and cleverer than ever.
The best way for organizations to stay safe and keep their data unharmed is by hiring an expert. A person with the right knowledge, training, and skills will help you avoid such attacks and threats.
Here are a few tips you can keep in mind and implement to avoid common cyber scams.
- Investing in a good antivirus software will help you a lot. It will continuously scan your system for any malware and will protect you from phishing sites as well. Keep your software UpToDate.
- One of the best advise you can follow is to keep reviewing and revising your privacy settings on all your social media accounts. Keep a track of what personal information you or your known ones are posting about you.
- Companies have done their job by protecting our data via passwords. However, it is on us to ensure how well we keep those passwords. Always enable two-factors authentication (2FA) and keep changing your passwords. Many people make the mistake of using the same password for all their social media accounts. Do not make this mistake.
- In order to avoid getting scammed, you should always be wary. Be alert and do not open email for people you do not know. And even if you open an email, do not click on any links, or download any attachments. These links can be sent anywhere and should always be avoided if it is sent from someone you do not know.
- If you are on a new website, refrain from clicking on any third-party links or making payments via unknown payment gateways.
- Scammers often call you in urgency asking for your personal information or protected passwords, OTPs, and PINs. The one thing to keep in mind is that legitimate agencies and government institutions never ask for your personal information. Thus, if that is happening, it is on you to not get panicked and let any information out.
- If you are ever in doubt or get even the slightest hint that something is off, stop immediately. If it is a legitimate person or organization, they will have no problem waiting. And if it is a scammer, they will try to persist you into doing it now. Do not succumb to the pressure and talk to someone you trust.
Scammers are becoming smarter and so should you. If you want to save yourself from the trouble that comes along, it is on you to be smart as well. Keep yourself aware of all the types of scams that are happening so that you know something similar comes your way.