7 Tricks to Stop Scammers and Hackers in their Tracks


7 Tricks to Stop Scammers and Hackers in their Tracks | Coupons.com

We all love the convenience of shopping, banking or doing other tasks online – but it’s not without risks. With highly publicized hacks happening on the regular, the Internet is often nicknamed the ‘Wild West’ for its lack of oversight or government control. While many sites you interact with aim to protect your personal information, it’s equally important you do the same. According to the FBI, internet crimes can cheat innocent individuals out of millions of dollars each year. Don’t be a victim – here are seven ways to stay ahead of scams to protect your money and your identity.

Get Domain Privacy Protection from GoDaddy

GoDaddy Domain Privacy

Do you own a website domain? Did you register one for your business? You may not realize it, but any personal information you entered to register that domain is added to a public directory. Hackers and spammers will use this information to compile mailing lists or steal domains.

GoDaddy offers domain privacy protection to keep your personal information safely locked away. For as little as $7.99 per year per domain, you can mask your domain from these directories, increasing your personal protection and helping to keep your domain from getting hijacked. There’s even extra protection available for businesses (starting at $21.99 / year / domain) to show your customers your site is secured. Domain Privacy helps protect against identity theft, prevents domain-related spam, and deters domain hacking.

Check Who’s Sending That Email


Phishing scams involve sending very legitimate-looking emails to actual customers of a service or business. They’ll often ask you to click a link, download something, or call a number to provide more information or validate something. But talk to any business – asking for this type of info online is actually super rare.

The easiest way to spot a phishing scam is to look at who sent it to you. Compare that email domain to other emails you’ve gotten in the past from the same sender – if something looks fishy, or ‘phishy’, contact the business using a verified phone number (i.e. not the one with the foreign area code in the email you were sent!) It can be so easy to be fooled, but trust us – something like apple.support@appleitunes.com isn’t the same as an actual email from the folks at Apple. Keep an eye out for emails from loved ones too – chances are your Great Aunt Ida doesn’t actually need the first four digits of your credit card to send you a Christmas gift this year.

Validate Who’s Calling


Internet scams get a lot of attention – but phishing and fraud can extend to your phone as well. If you get an unexpected phone call from a business or service provider asking for account information, consider that an alarm bell. The best way to stay safe? The only time you should be giving out info is if you initiate the call yourself, using a verified number. Be sure to alert any business you think might be the victim of a phone scam to help protect other customers.

Double Down on Protection


Two-factor authentication: It sounds serious, but stay with us! It’s a pretty simple way to protect your most valuable information on sites like Gmail, PayPal or Facebook. Two-factor authentication means that in addition to entering your username and password on a site, you’ll also be required to submit an instantly generated code that’s sent to your mobile phone or your email.

Will you have to do this every time? Nope – only if you’re logging in from an unverified computer or device. So even if a hacker manages to track down your password, chances are they won’t have your phone in hand when they’re prompted to enter in a 4-digit access code that’s been texted to you (and you’ll get a heads up that someone’s trying to get in!)

Put Your Shopping On Lockdown (Kind of…)


If you online shop, protect yourself by sticking to one credit card to minimize the damage if your information is stolen by hackers. This is equally valuable if you’re banking or shopping through your phone and it gets lost. If you have a few credit cards, at least the hackers will only ever be able to access one of them.

If you run a small business and sell anything online, investing in Domain Privacy can help deter hackers and keep your customers safe, too.

Be Wary of Free Wi-Fi


Running low on data? Need to use free Wi-Fi? Most of these networks are public and unsecured – meaning you should be careful what you do on them. Someone may also set up a fake Wi-Fi that looks legitimate. If you’re standing in line outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, someone could easily set up an open Wi-Fi called ‘Rock&RollerFreeWifi’ and ask you to enter information (or log into a social account) to access it. Your best bet is to check in with an employee at a business to see if free Wi-Fi actually exists, and how to login.

One Password Manager to Rule Them All


You’ve heard time and again how important it is to have a unique password for every site, to regularly change your passwords, and to make your passwords hard to guess. But with the average person having upwards of 90 accounts (a number that may climb to 207 by 2020!), that’s a pretty tall order. Luckily there are password managers for your desktop computer and devices that can help generate ridiculously secure encrypted passwords. All you need is one master password (that yes, you update regularly and make hard to guess) to keep all those sites straight – and protected.

7 Tricks to Stop Scammers and Hackers in their Tracks | Coupons.com