Tips to protect against digital fraud and potential scams

Sometimes you don’t have the necessary knowledge about the risks of the web, and there are people who, by making mistakes in this regard, can cause serious problems. Mario Alberto Pérez, Head of Cybersecurity at Bitso, gave Cointelegraph en Español a number of tips to provide information that will allow us to be better protected in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

A lack of knowledge is a major cause of people being misled and persuaded to invest or buy counterfeit products. At the same time, the constant and accelerated progress of information technology goes hand in hand with ignorance. This way fraud becomes common unless an internet user is prevented from doing so.

Antivirus company McAfee detected 375 threats per minute worldwide in the first quarter of the year, Bitso said. “There have been 800,000 attacks using the coronavirus problem (mainly by creating malicious websites to collect searches related to the pandemic) to access devices and data of internet users,” they said.

Tips to protect against digital fraud and potential scams
Tips to protect against digital fraud and potential scams

“As reported by McAfee, In Latin America, the main attacks were Mexico (3,295 threats), Brazil (1,725 ​​threats) and Argentina (1,128). It should be added that the risk of PC users being exposed to cyber threats has increased by 27%, partly due to the massive adoption of teleworking, ”they added.

With an emphasis on fraud related to cryptocurrencies, From Bitso they prepared recommendations to become aware of potential digital scams, by Mario Alberto Pérez:

1) It cannot be guaranteed that a specific profit will be achieved

Investing is the art of knowing how to take risks and weigh opportunities. There is no way to ensure that any particular profit will be made, let alone exorbitant profits. With that in mind, it is best to step aside when someone promises profits in excess of a reasonable margin. You need to be very careful and take the time to understand the business model and how each company works.

2) Be careful with pyramid schemes

When a platform promotes and / or rewards other people who are invited or registered, and especially when you want to participate, you need to make an initial investment or buy a product, you need to ask yourself: why? Well, this is the typical way that Ponzi or pyramid schemes work.

Typically, these strategies are based on rewarding existing members for inviting more people to buy or invest, thereby financially supporting people who are above a person within the pyramid structure.

This model works until people stop entering and the pyramid collapses.

A successful investment must generate profit from the sale of a product or service and must not take money away from your partners.

Another modality related to pyramid schemes to watch out for in social networks are pump-and-dump systems, which are used to activate fraudulent activities in which the price of a cheaply bought stock is increased through the manipulation or falsification of information can and then sell at a higher price.

3) Always research

I don’t believe everything that can be seen on social networks. Before investing in anything, research the company from various sources. Check the feasibility of the business model he is promoting.

There are very different groups of Telegrams in which users share their experiences and they are very valuable. Find out what the company’s history looks like and who the people behind it are (a search in combination with the keywords “[marca] + Fraud ”could lead to landmark results.

And the rating of users who have already worked with the platform in question is also a deciding factor (although it is not taken entirely seriously as it may not be real).

One of the regulations to be taken into account at international level is implemented by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) on the basis of the so-called Regulatory Framework for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for its acronym in English.

4) Understand the risks

Any investment carries the risk of failure, and it is important to weigh those risks before investing, not after.

Questions about risk measurement:

  1. What conditions could cause this investment to fail?

  2. How likely is it that these conditions will occur?

  3. How can you withdraw your investment?

  4. What are the penalties for taking back your investment?

  5. Given the expected outcome, is it worth taking this risk?

  6. Can I find another less risky investment vehicle that offers similar returns?

  7. Can I afford to lose this investment?

5) Take the time to decide

Take the time to not only think about investing but also not to feel pressured by anyone to invest in a rush. If you are under pressure, it can be a sign that it is a scam. Better to take the opportunity than feel compelled to rush a decision. A legitimate business takes time to plan and operate.

6) Use stock exchanges and regulated financial services

Don’t use a financial platform just because it offers a lot of leverage or has no commissions as the money could be at risk.

7) Don’t repeat the passwords of different accounts

Never use the same password for different applications, accounts, platforms, and other websites that are regularly accessed. While this is one of the tips cybersecurity specialists insist on the most, it is a very common mistake as it requires a large number of password generation services on the internet.

Many people downplay the quality of passwords. However, they don’t know that if the same code is used over and over, their accounts will be less secure. In order to minimize the risk of a hack and not to repeat passwords, it is important to update and change them regularly. Avoid using words and personal information that are easy to guess, such as dates of birth or names of people, pets, relatives, or related people with hobbies such as soccer. It is also important to remember that passwords are for personal use only and should not be shared with anyone.

8) Check the senders of the emails you receive and make sure they are legitimate

One of the most common methods of stealing sensitive information through email is phishing. This practice consists of sending emails to different recipients with the obvious signature of trusted financial companies. In this way, hackers try to access the numbers and passwords of people’s bank or credit card accounts.

To avoid falling into these traps, one option is to use different email accounts. For example, keep two or three different accounts for different types of use (one for work, another for personal, and a third for general information). This makes it easy for hackers to send that type of content for minor email boxes where sensitive information is not processed.

In addition, users often find links in various emails that automatically lead them to Internet pages. Whenever someone sends us an email asking us to enter a special link and we doubt the sender or their email address will be changed, it is always safer to put the address directly in the browser of the one being used Otherwise this will be the case.Otherwise you can call up fraudulent pages.

We need to pay close attention to the sender’s email address to ensure that once we know the supposed sender, the name or domain doesn’t vary minimally. It is common for cyber criminals to copy the name of a telemarketer from a well-known company, for example, but the domain does not exactly match that of the company.

9) Do not connect to public WI-FI networks

With the advancement of the Internet, public WiFi networks became common. However, hacking into such a network is much easier than attacking someone else. In many cases, these types of connections do not require passwords, and if they do, anyone with access to the key, even a hacker trying to steal information, can use it.

Since public networks are usually not encrypted, it is important that you keep your device up to date to avoid a hack. Always use anti-virus and anti-malware software, program your computer or smartphone not to automatically connect to public networks, and only use reliable connections.

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