Types of online attacks and scams you don’t have to be a tech genius to spot

Types of online attacks and scams you don’t have to be a tech genius to spot

Nearly everybody uses a computer these days, and this means that nearly everyone is open to the threat of a cyberattack, either to their business or to their personal data. This might sound scary to you (because it can be) so you could be tempted to steer clear of spending time online and make your life more difficult as a result. This needn’t be the case, however, as there are some scams that you don’t have to be a tech genius to spot – provided you are careful whilst online and know what to look for. This does not mean you shouldn’t have things like antivirus installed on your devices though, but there is no harm in being clued up on the different types of online attacks and scams you could encounter.

#1 Spear Phishing

You might already be familiar with Phishing, a process where an email pretends to be from a contact or company in an effort to grab your data, but you might not have heard of Spear Phishing. This is similar, but the level of detail involved is much greater to make the email look more genuine, as opposed to being from a bank you don’t have an account with telling you that you are overdrawn.

Where Phishing is very much ‘amateur hour’, Spear Phishing is much more professional and will be targeted at a much smaller group of individuals or possibly just you. This means they will have done plenty of research and might include details you think could only have come from a genuine source. To help you sidestep this particular pitfall, you should check out more in-depth information on Spear Phishing from reputable sources online.

#2 Scareware

While Spear Phishing is targeted, this one is more general and is just as big a problem – as it will be structured in a way that implies it is doing you a favor when in reality it is trying to steal your data. A typical example of this will be a pop-up that tells you your device is at risk – a problem that can be solved by installing a program that will do very little except installing malware that you will need help to remove. These can be hard to spot as the pop-ups can look like the operating system of your computer – but will often appear only on certain types of websites.

#3 Spyware

Spyware often bundles itself with legitimate software, and once installed changes setting so you don’t know it is there. This can be a serious problem but making sure you only download apps and software from legitimate sources can go a long way to keeping you safe. If a website is offering you free software that might cost you money elsewhere, it might be for this very reason so you need to be wary, and remember that if something sounds too good to be true, then the chances are that it is.

Final thoughts

Going online can be scary as there are plenty of cybercriminals looking to take advantage of you. However, by checking for things like Spyware, Scareware, and Spear Phishing, you can help to keep yourself safe, aided by the right tech like anti-virus software.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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Types of online attacks and scams you don’t have to be a tech genius to spot