Lincoln, Omaha – Whether we like it or not, we have implemented technology in our everyday lives and we can’t even imagine what our lives would be without our mobile phones, computers, smart car systems, home security systems, smartwatches etc.
Although the technology makes our everyday lives easier, that comes at a cost – online safety.
In the last couple of year, more and more online scams are real struggle for everyone, from regular online user to business owners and all of these online scams victims lose billions of dollars annually.
As we already reported last week, Nebraska woman was a victim to an online scam and scammers managed to take money off her account even without her knowledge. When she noticed she misses money she obviously hadn’t spent, it was already too late.
But not only regular people are being scammed lately. According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers are now more frequently targeting businesses and business owners. As per their announcement, Nebraska business owners are becoming frequent phishing scam victims.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message. The recipient is then tricked into clicking a malicious link, which can lead to the installation of malware, the freezing of the system as part of a ransomware attack or the revealing of sensitive information.
This kind of scam can be easily prevented only by checking the link you are about to click. However, in most of the occasions, due to different reasons people rarely check the links they click and they go forward with filling the information they asked to.
“Phishing scams are a really easy way to not only hit consumers but business owners,” Josh Planos with the Better Business Bureau said, “The affects are incredibly damaging, just a single compromised account can lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue. The steps necessary to get your account back online is like falling down the wormhole.”
According to the available data, phishing scams are the second most popular type of scam scammers used since the start of the last year. That said, security experts advise people to never click a link if they link looks suspicious. Modern phones also have the ability show the full link on by hoovering the link with your finger.
In most of the occasions, scammers use Facebook as a start of the scam attack. In an effort to lower the chance of being scammed, experts advise people to activate two-factor authentication and change their password more frequently.
“It’s very easy to mock up an authentications type email for a consumer or for a business owner to say ‘hey we want you to improve your security.’ I would make a habit of going to your account settings on Facebook to stay aware of what steps you can take to create more encrypted communication,” Planos said. “Once those accounts go dark it’s not a guarantee they’ll ever come back to the light.”
Additionally, experts say that even once someone clicks on a link, there is still a few minutes timeframe to change the password of that particular account and prevent the whole system to be compromised. In most of these situations, scammers will unable to access your data and continue their initial attack.
If you do notice a phishing scam, report it to the Better Business Bureau. They’re in constant contact with local law enforcement, working towards shutting the scams down and preventing anyone else from becoming a victim.