Stay Vigilant: Beware of Online Scams

by Orville White

Within the first three weeks of January 2022, Hawaii KHON2 news reported that online scams are happening more often. It consists of online shopping purchases, and even cases using the city Department of Motor vehicle as bait.

The Honolulu Police Department Crime Stoppers Unit has advised the public to use caution when making purchases online.

The fact that the internet is an essential part of our professional and private life has opened opportunities for the bad actors to take advantage of you. These online scams can come at you in numerous forms.

With so much online activities, it’s easy to get distracted and become a victim of clickbait – a term that means to attract attention and entice users to click a specific link – that sends you to a fake online website to scam you.

At a glance, mobile devices account for more than half of online usage. Despite the small screens, smartphones are estimated to be used by 8 out of 10 users to conduct business and personal online transactions.

Smartphones have become the driving force behind the term M-commerce (mobile) growth. The US M-commerce growth volume is poised to increase from $100 billion in 2019 to $400 billion through 2024, according to industry experts.

With its popularity and accessibility, mobile devices are also high risk to scams that enables an attacker to inject malicious content, modify the user’s online experience and obtain unauthorized information.

To avoid becoming a victim of online scams, it’s important to stay aware of messages that you receive online. Here are some pointers to look for to help defend yourself against common online scams:

– Avoid opening junk text messages and emails.
– Learn how to distinguish phishing text messages and emails then delete them immediately.
– Choose different passwords for each online account and change them regularly.

Most importantly, do not click on links in uninvited or doubtful text messages and emails that most likely will point to malicious sites.

ORVILLE WHITE is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional who aims to bring information security awareness and education through his blogs.

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