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Protect Yourself from Online Scams ' No One is Immune: CTO

Published by Itnewsafrica on Tue, 14 May 2024

Online scams are evolving at a worrying pace, posing challenges even for the most seasoned IT and online security professionals. Some of these experts have even admitted to falling prey to cybercrime themselves ' indicating that no one, regardless of profession or social standing, is safe. This is according to Chief Technology Officer for Flow Communications, Richard Frank.A comprehensive survey conducted by Mimecast in 2023, incorporating insights from 1,700 security experts and IT professionals, unveils a chilling truth: 75% of tech wizards have witnessed their inboxes becoming a minefield of email threats, 66% state that their businesses have suffered from ransomware attacks, and a staggering 80% believe their company is at risk due to employee carelessness concerning digital security. he notesCybercriminals are honing their skills at duping online users through scamming techniques like domain spoofing. This involves creating deceptive websites that mimic legitimate ones to steal login credentials and one-time passwords (OTPs). Awareness and caution, along with employing password managers and meticulously verifying Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, are crucial in combating these scams. he saysBeware of email scams and malwareEmail scams, particularly those involving impersonation, have found their way into many of our personal and professional inboxes. They arrive disguised in various clever forms, masquerading as your boss (as seen when Flow Communications staff received emails from CEO Tara Turkington requesting peculiar favors), a colleague, or even a friend, seeking a favor, a click, or, even more concerning'your credit card details. Scammers frequently capitalize on the identities of people we know to solicit assistance, but its important to be vigilant for warning signs such as suspicious email addresses or poor grammar. he addsThe general rule of thumb here is to approach every unsolicited email with a healthy dose of skepticism. Be alert for subtle discrepancies such as extra characters in a familiar email address, the absence of an email signature, an incorrect domain name, or an unusual request for information, often accompanied by obvious spelling errors. However, its important to be mindful that scammers can now employ advanced tools like ChatGPT to compose convincing messages. Your best defense against such tactics involves carefully scrutinizing emails, particularly those containing links related to account details, deliveries, or invoices. says FrankClicking on a malicious link can result in malware infections that jeopardize the security of your computer. In such cases, promptly shut down the affected device and seek assistance from professional IT support. While your initial impulse might be to address the issue independently, sometimes those efforts can inadvertently worsen the situation. he addsEven high-profile people fall prey to confidence trickstersYou wouldnt want your email address or social media profile to be exploited in furtherance of a scam. Just picture someone hacking into your WhatsApp account and impersonating you, reaching out to your contacts to request money. Such an incident can have both personal and professional repercussions. he saysThe experiences of notable figures like former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and politician Helen Zille serve as stark reminders of the cunning tactics scammers employ. In June of last year, Madonsela shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) that she had once fallen victim to a scam, losing thousands of rands to someone who had hijacked a friend's WhatsApp profile. It wasnt until the scammers greed and audacity became too conspicuous that she realized she was being duped and alerted others. he addsZilles encounter with a fraudulent transaction scam involved her being tricked into divulging an OTP sent to her phone after receiving a bogus call purportedly from her bank, claiming there was a suspicious transaction requiring urgent reversal. says FrankDefend your devices like a proSo, whats the solution' How do we fortify our digital lives against these scammers armed with more tricks than a magicians show' asks FrankOne of the most effective defenses against scams is to implement two-factor authentication (2FA) across all available digital platforms. Its akin to having a digital bodyguard that adds an additional layer of security, significantly increasing the difficulty for hackers to breach your accounts.Whether its your WhatsApp, email, or social media accounts, 2FA serves as the technological equivalent of locking your doors at night'simple yet effective. At Flow Communications, for example, we bolster our online security by utilizing password management tools equipped with two-factor authentication settings to safeguard our digital accounts. he saysIf you wish to protect your Facebook account from unauthorized access, you can activate 2FA through the settings menu. Once enabled, any login attempt to your account from an unfamiliar device or location will necessitate not only your password but also a verification code. This code is usually sent to your mobile phone via SMS or generated by an authenticator app. With 2FA enabled, even if a hacker gains access to your password, they would still be unable to infiltrate your account without possessing your phone. he addsFrank concludes by saying The significance of education, vigilance, and technological safeguards cannot be overstated. Embracing two-factor authentication, scrutinizing electronic communications, and exercising caution with suspicious links are indispensable practices that can make the difference between maintaining online safety and falling victim to scams, which could lead to financial loss, identity theft, or compromise of sensitive data. By prioritizing security awareness and implementing protective measures, individuals and organizations can significantly diminish their susceptibility to the sophisticated scams prevalent on the internet.The post Protect Yourself from Online Scams ' No One is Immune: CTO first appeared on IT News Africa | Business Technology, Telecoms and Startup News.
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