The internet has changed our lives irreversibly. Almost all global industries rely on the internet, and it is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives and social interactions. If it was to disappear overnight, the damage would be catastrophic, and the chaos would be unimaginable.
Just about anything we could want to know is available at the tips of our fingers, a power never before seen in human history. However, for all its benefits for information and convenience, the internet also comes with some inherent risks and dangers.
This is no more true than when we’re depositing and withdrawing funds. Online casino customers, for instance, want to know that when they register they can play fair casino games from reliable providers, meaning that:
- They’re playing a game that isn’t rigged so that they lose repeatedly
- They can deposit and withdraw their funds knowing that at every point their personal info and funds will be secure.
This is why governing bodies and customer protection policies exist, and why online casino customers only play at providers recognised by such bodies and who adhere to such policies.
Beyond these dangers, though, there are others. Let’s take a look at these in more detail and ask if you should take more care when browsing the internet. Keep reading to find out more.
What are the risks?
The internet can be fun, educational, and endlessly entertaining. However, it can also be dangerous. Cyber criminals and scammers employ a range of tricks and schemes to con unsuspecting internet surfers into handing over personal details or financial information.
These scams come in all shapes and sizes, they can target you directly through email or through pop up windows while you browse. You can be getting scammed without knowing it too, personal details you’ve disclosed when registering for a website can be obtained through data breaches and attacks on that website’s security systems. Let’s examine some of the main risks you’ll encounter when browsing online and discuss the best ways to avoid them.
A phishing scam is the name given to a scam that is directed at you through your email. Generally, a phishing email will be disguised to look like an email from an established company institution, such as a bank, mobile operator, or internet service provider. They will usually explain that something is wrong with your account and that you need to follow the provided link, log in, and sort the issue. However, the link will take you to a fake website where, once you enter your details, your information will be stolen, and your finances can be at risk.
If you receive an email, pay close attention to the sender’s email address. If it has been sent from a public email company such as Hotmail or Gmail, it is likely to be a scam; legitimate companies will always send emails from their own domain.
You should never click on links from emails unless you’re absolutely certain of its legitimacy. If you have clicked on the link, examine the website for any signs that it is fraudulent. Check for slight misspellings in the address bar or company name and be wary of .net or .org websites. If you’re looking to shop with legitimate online stores or send money from your bank to an external third party account, confirming a website’s authenticity is absolutely essential.
Malware, or malicious software, is software designed to steal data from your computer and damage and destroy internal processes. A malware infection can have serious consequences, so it’s crucial you know how to avoid inadvertently downloading it onto your computer.
Fraudulent advertisements or pop-ups offering tempting downloads are a common vehicle for malware, viruses, trackers and all sorts of internet nasties. Often, they will be offering anti-virus software or warning you that your system is already infected. Never accept a download from an unverified or strange-looking source, or you risk infecting your computer and losing data and information.
Malware can come in many forms. One of the most alarming is called ransomware. This works by freezing and locking you out of your computer before displaying a message demanding a ransom be paid for you to regain access. Whatever you do, do not pay this ransom. Take your computer to a specialist immediately and let the experts handle the situation.
Data breaches can often be one of the most dangerous internet threats, as they can occur without your knowledge. Signing up to any online platform will usually require you to divulge personal or financial information. Cyber criminals are well aware of this and will specifically target these websites, using sophisticated tricks to break into their systems and steal user information. You might not be aware your data has been stolen before it’s too late and your bank account has been emptied.
While there isn’t much you can do to prevent an external website from suffering a data breach, making sure you use different passwords for different accounts can help limit the damage. If your password is the same across all your accounts, then one data breach can mean all of your online profiles are vulnerable. Use different passwords to stop this from happening.
Consider using a digital wallet, these can be used to pay for goods online without having to submit your bank details with a number of different platforms, significantly reducing the risk of data loss.
Nothing comes without risk, the internet being no exception. Follow these tips and ensure you stay safe when browsing online.