How to Get Ripped Off Online

NOTE: The point of this article is to help users protect themselves from being victims of internet scams. The approach taken is only a way to recognize a user's vulnerability on the internet. The author does not in any way promote scams or rip-offs on the Internet (or in life).

If you do not take proper precaution when browsing the internet, you will be the next victim of a scam – and with the new ways hackers are looking to deceive their victims, it's important to make sure you're safe from every act of cyber -crime.

Despite the numerous times internet security experts warn victims about the dire threats of online attacks, many consumers still do not get the message. The fact is, it can happen to anyone – including YOU. Therefore, I have decided to take a 'reverse psychology' approach in hopes that it makes users think about their internet safety.

Sure-fire ways to get ripped-off on the internet

As a child, I would lose everything. No matter the importance of the item, it was bound to get lost. I started to learn my lesson when my mother encouraged me to lose things. She would euphemize scenarios revolving around losing items. Instead of giving me prevention tips, she gave me tips on how to lose things. Occasionally, her sarcasm taught me to be more careful with my items as losing things was not fun at all.

Piggy-backing off my mother's sarcasm, if you want to be the net victim of internet fraud, here's how you can do it!

Make an easy password and use it for all of your accounts!

Want to increase your chances of becoming a victim of a cyber-crime? Make an easy password so hackers can guess it! Passwords like '123456' or 'ABCDEF' are the easiest to crack. Once you've created an easy password, make sure you use it for ALL of your online accounts so you it's easier to remember!

Say NO to anti-virus software!

Do not even think about protecting your computer from viruses and trojans! A lack of anti-virus software will ensure that once trojans are on your computer, they stay there. These stealthy guys can record all of your personal information. If you have anti-virus software, do not update the definitions! How else will new viruses have access to your files?

Turn off that firewall!

A firewall will protect your computer from any unauthorized users (hackers). If you want to become a victim of an internet attack, it's vital you turn off your firewall! If you wanted your house to get robbed, would you lock the door? The same concept applications on the internet!

Open e-mail attachments from people you do not know!

Trojans are often in mysterious e-mail attachments. Scamming takes place right after you open them – especially the ones from people you do not know! The best part is once the attachment is open, the virus secretly crawls around your computer, without you even knowing it's there!

If it looks too good to be true, it's true!

You will see tons of pop-ups and links from hackers who are looking to obtain your personal information. These promotions will say things like "Win a Free iPad 2" or "Dieting Secret That Will Make You Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Days!" At first, you may seem skeptical, but click on the links. You'll fall victim to an online attack when you receive nothing but a virus!

Download pirated software!

Not only is it illegal to download pirated software, but most of these programs contain viruses and other potentially dangerous identity attacks. What better way to have your personal information revealed and your identity stolen then downloading a malicious attack? It's that easy!

Everyone on the internet should be trusted!

The internet is filled with caring people who really want to help you out. If you get e-mails, chat room messages or instant messages from someone you do not know asking for your bank information, give it to them! They will help you in your scamming efforts fast!

Use public networks to make financial transactions!

Another way to fall victim to a cyber-crime is to pay your bills from a public computer! When the computer requests if you want to save your passwords, click YES! This will ensure that the next person sees your account numbers! There's a great chance many people will see your personal information, then, bettering your chances!

Sense the sarcasm?

The fact is, scams are all over the internet. Although the protection has grown stronger and the number of scams has decreased, new scams are being created as you read this article. By doing the opposite of everything above, you will ensure that your chances of being an online victim are slim. Happy surfing!

To learn more about cyber-crime prevention, visit Hudson Horizons' internet security resources .