The World Wide Web offers a fascinating but also dangerous world. Fraudsters and criminal organisations operate anonymously and globally at the expense of gullible or careless users.
No advantage without risk
Cybercrime is a booming branche and no safety door or alarm system can stop it, because it found completely new ways to attack our privacy. The common opinion that computer systems can be fully secured is now changing - there is no 100 percent safety. So what can we do to avoid traps?
Firewall, virus scanner, regular updates
Regarding the Internet and computers, the equivalents to security doors and alarm systems are firewalls and a virus scanner in combination with regular software updates. Furthermore, it is important to be cautious and critical when it comes to suspicious offers.
Cybercrime: An overview
The ECC-Net and the Austrian Verein für Konsumenteninformation VKI summarized the most common cybercrimes in a brochure: "Schutz vor Internet-Kriminalität" (only available in German). It's about spam and scam, phishing, safety gaps of smartphones, tips for shopping online.
Some of these scams are older than the Internet itself while others have only become possible with the modern media.
10 basic rules against Internet fraud
- Choose passwords carefully, change them regularly and never give them away to others!
- Use safe connections when you pay online (https//...), don't use a public WLAN.
- Don't give away your personal data easily, especially regarding your bank account.
- Check your bank account regularly!
- "You won..." should always make you sceptical. Especially if you didn't participate in any lottery.
- Don't transfer money to foreigners without getting something back, e.g. a "service charge" to get a "prize" you "won".
- Ignore mails from an unknown sender, even if the subject matter sounds interesting. Delete it without opening or reading it.
- Don't open ZIP files and links in such mails as they might contain viruses or Trojans.
- Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors as well as unbelievable stories in mails are often indications for fraud or at least a dubious initiation of business.
- Common sense: "To good to be true" - if it sounds this good, it is most likely attached to something bad.