No matter how careful we are, we might be scammed or pick up malware or viruses. Scammers can think of hundreds of ways to get around us. There are ways to try to protect yourself. It wont always work but many times it will. The first rule is never click on a link if you arenít absolutely sure itís safe. Donít fall for money making opportunities that are too good to be true. They are. Unfortunately, many scams and fake information arenít easy to spot. If you receive an email from a friend you havenít heard from in years, should youclick on the emailed link? No, donít do it, if you value your computer and your information. People arenít so easily fooled by the Nigerian Prince who wants to share his wealth or the Canadian sweepstakes, weíve heard those before, but new scams keep making their appearance. Never give information about bank accounts, paypal or credit cards on the INTERNET. Emails requiring your account information are almost always bogus. If you feel it might truly be about your account, make a phone call to inquire. Some red flags in these bogus emails are: misspellings, bad-English,a copyright date thatís not of this year, or a long return email address. Before clicking any link, copy and paste the link in the Google search bar and see where it takes you. If itís not the official website, itís fake. This kind of email is called phishing and you donít want to have anything to do with it. The INTERNET does have a problem telling the truth. But, how can you tell if it isnít true? What about that email with the trashy raciest slur toward a political party? And how about messages from Twitter from the scantily clad girls asking for help? How do you know if itís real or fake? Ads on the internet or in emails that promise hundreds of dollars, often
thousands. Itís all marlarky. Donít let them fool you. Even though weíve walzed around the barn a few times, some scams are becoming so sophisticated that almost anyone can be taken in. Especially during holiday shopping when everyone is looking for a good deals. We can only try to be smarter than the scammers and not be taken in. One thing to remember is that scammers and liars are not usually original. If you receive an email that doesnít sound right, copy some of the text and paste it in the Google search bar. Youíre likely to find itís an old scam thatís been circulating for years, or a new one. Another good way to check is at Snopes.com or FactCheck.org, among other web sites. Snopes is particularly good at telling fact from fiction. If you receive an email that says something like: ďSomeone has made a video of youĒ or ďSomeone you know wants to share a secretĒ with a link in the body of the message. Donít touch that link even if the name is one you know. You very possibly are receiving links to viruses and malware. If it looks suspicious delete the email and warn your friend that his email has been hacked. Fake news is all over the INTERNET. Beware postings of a celebrityís death until you can confirm it by legitimate confirmation. Donít retweet any information until itís confirmed. Watch out for twitter accounts that have no followers but are followed by hundreds. With the best of knowledge you can sometimes be fooled. Never send any of these people money and if you find your computer is loaded with malware, just clean it up and hope youíll know better next time.