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8 Tips to Protect Yourself Against Scams

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

As the country is going through series of crises such as Covid-19, Unemployment, and Protest against discrimination towards Black Americans, scammers are also actively at work to steal from people who lower their vigilance to protect themselves as almost every transaction are carried online.

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Find below some of the techniques inspired by the US government regulations to protect US citizens and residents' online privacy to protect yourself from scams.

  1. Secure Your Password. The unique passwords are between 12-15 characters and do not contain personal information (family and pets name, for example). It is sometimes required to change your password every 2-6 months to make sure your accounts are still safe.

  2. Check The authenticity of the links. Secured links have an "s" at the end of « Http:// » like https:// (the "s" means secured). The exception of a website with copyrighting is where someone claims the contains and could be sued if you use the information without referring to the author. Those websites will not have "s" at the end of the "Http://" but a "C" for copyright on the site.

  3. Avoid sharing personal pieces of information. On your password or commercial websites, avoid sharing personal information like a bank account, SSN, date of birth, etc...

  4. The principle of double authentication. There are many. The first one is the phone call, text message, or an email with a code to confirm it's you when you access a website. The second is push notification, where you have to touch the screen of your phone, where a message appears asking you to confirm you are the one. The third one, actually the most secure one, is to use an authenticator app that generates codes after scanning the unique bar code for accessing the website. You can download these apps on Apple or Google Store

  5. The trap of free wifi. Free wifi is good but also exposes you to potential scams as they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. If you are forced to use free or public wifi, make sure you don't open sensitive apps like bank apps or any that request your passwords.

  6. Beware of fishing. Phishing is the most popular technique that scammers use for identity theft. When you receive an email that contains links that look suspicious, do not click on the link. Copy and paste on your browser or make a google search about the company, person who sends you the email or the link. 

  7. Install a VPN. Though most operating systems have integrated Virtual Private Network, you could reinforce yours to protect yourself from scammers who steal information on public wifi and others. You can get some for free on Google and Apple Stores.

  8. Install anti-malware and anti-virus applications on your devices that will secure all your online transactions. They can help you scan your network and detect potential intruders in your system.

If you learned something valuable for you and your loved one from this article and would like to receive more information on how to succeed in America as a Sub-Sahara Immigrant, subscribe HERE and leave a message on what specific area you need help.

Please share this article to support other Sub-Sahara immigrants in the US who need to learn how to protect their privacy online.

Herve Ngate

Africans4future Network Editorial

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