The internet is a quickly growing community. There are tens of millions of websites being added to the internet weekly. With so many opportunities there are equally as many scams – so how do we protect ourselves when venturing out into the online world?
In this post, I want to give you a short guide on the best practices to protecting your identity and money on the internet.
1. Don’t buy or invest in something too good to be true!
If you come across an offer that sounds very inviting, but in the back of your mind you think that it seems a little too good to be true – it’s probably a scam.
Many scams come in the form of effortless offers. What I am trying to say is that it almost sounds like they’re giving away their money.
Example: Make millions of dollars by buying this $20 program.
Doesn’t that sound too good? It does for me. Any offer like the one listed above is absolutely buyer beware.
2. Don’t spend your hard earned money up front for an opportunity to make money
Many times you will see offers that state that if you purchase their product, then you will have an opportunity to make that money back and more.
Courses, products or networks that offer a great product should be able to provide a free trial or something that gives you the opportunity to test drive their product before making the leap and purchasing it.
Be careful of some free trials though! Many times free trials are actually just a scam to get you to “purchase” the product indirectly. You sign-up for the free trial and then forget to cancel it.
I was paying for over a year on one website and I didn’t even know it.
These companies will offer the free trial and pray that you forget.
Just a hint. If you decided to use these types of free trials remember to set yourself a reminded to cancel so you do not forget. If you like the product than by all means continue with it. Just don’t get sucked into their nasty business model.
3. Don’t believe everyone
I’m not preaching paranoia, but you cannot accept at face value who people say they are.
People lie, cheat, steal and rip people off online all of the time, and you could be their next victim. Don’t quickly buy-in to people’s stories and write them a check. Slow down and test everything – you cannot be too careful.
4. Protect your confidential information
Keep your information safe.
Don’t share your information with anyone – that’s why it’s called confidential information.
I am amazed at what some people share with people on the internet. You should never give people your address or payment information to people on social media or in chatrooms. Make sure payments are used through a secure system like PayPal or Stripe.
5. Slow down! Don’t make hasty decisions
When it comes to making decisions about buying or selling on the internet, you should never make a hasty decision.
There are thousands of people that will give testimony of losing money because they believed a story and rushed into a decision without checking the facts.
Don’t be that person – slow down, grasshopper!
6. Only donate to charities that you haven’d checked out
One scam that seems to get a lot of people is non-profit scams. People that have compassion and want to give and be a help to humanity become victim to this despicable scam.
People create fake charities and request help and financial backing for their forged cause.
Make sure that every charity that you want to donate to you’ve checked out extensively before you give.
Giving to the poor is wonderful, but giving to a scam artist doesn’t give your the same warm feeling inside.
7. Never wire Cash
There are a lot of safe ways that you can send money in this day – wiring cash is not one of them.
I suggest that you use a payment gateway such as PayPal when receiving or sending money. Paypal is safe and can be trusted. Most people that are scammers will stay away from PayPal and frequently request that you wire them the cash.
Don’t wire your money!
There are a lot of bad people on the internet trying to take advantage of you.
If you apply these simple rules it will make you less acceptable to falling for popular scams.
Don’t fear the internet, but you need to respect that not everyone online is honest and true.
Be aware and be safe, but still use the internet to make your dreams come true.
Your Turn to Talk
Let me know in the comments if you have ever been scammed. Tell us your story so that we can learn how to better protect ourselves on the internet.