Digital fraud is not only on the rise, it is accelerating
and growing more sophisticated. While consumers are benefiting from the rise of
e-commerce, mobile payments and computer power, so too are criminals, who can
more easily take advantage of their vulnerabilities. Consumers and businesses
are the first line of defense against digital fraud, and it starts with becoming
educated on how the threats present themselves and how to avoid them.
Here are the most common types of digital fraud you are
likely to encounter:
If you ever receive an email from
a company, bank or government agency you didn’t expect, you could be part of a
phishing expedition for sensitive information. Phishers send personalized
emails encouraging you to click on a link for the phony purpose of updating
account information, checking on a fake order, or responding to a sham IRS
inquiry. If you click on the link, it takes you to a legitimate-looking website
where your private information can be captured.
Viruses and Spyware
The same type of phishing emails
could include a link that, when clicked on, could unleash a virus such as
ransomware. Or, it could download spyware that can track your online activities
and possibly capture your keystrokes.
Pop-up ads are becoming more
common, which makes it harder to detect a fake pop-up. If you click on a fake
pop-up, it will take you to a fraudulent website where it can collect your login
credentials or other personal information.
Steps to Defend Against Digital
Update your antivirus software
Scan your computer for spyware
Use a pop-up ad blocker
Never click on a link in an email unless you can verify the sender
Never download any program unless you can verify its source
Use a password vault to store and encrypt your passwords