Skip Navigation Download Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view PDF files.

Outsmart Online Scammers and Protect Your Finances

9/15/23 | Lindsie Wharff, Marketing Specialist

We live in an age defined by the internet and social media, right? It's where we shop, bank, and connect with friends. But there's always a catch – the Internet is home to all sorts of online scams. So, how do we protect our hard-earned cash and personal information? Well, it's time to dive into this guide that's all about protecting yourself from scammers!


Educate Yourself:

Let's start with the basics. You need to know what you're up against. Online scams come in all shapes and sizes, from phishing emails to identity theft and investment schemes. So, educate yourself on how these scams work. Know the signs, like when someone pretends to be your grandma on Facebook.


Lock It Up:

Create strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Mix it up with uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. And here's a pro tip: turn on Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) whenever you can.


Trust But Verify:

Before you start clicking around the web, double-check the source. Make sure the website's URL is legit and starts with "https://". That padlock icon next to the URL is your virtual bodyguard. If an email looks fishy, don't click any suspicious links or download attachments, and check the email address to make sure it is trusted as well.


Get Legit:

When you're handling your money online, stick to the apps you know are credible. Use well-known and trusted financial apps and services. Do your homework before downloading anything or sharing sensitive info. Always use your device's app store to download financial apps, and check the reviews on the app store, as well as the Better Business Bureau’s website.  


Be a Statement Sleuth:

Regularly review your bank and credit card statements. Keep an eye out for any transactions that don't add up. If something seems off, report it to your bank ASAP.


Update Like a Boss:

We all hate those pesky updates, but they're there for a reason. Regularly update your devices – phones, tablets, and computers. Those updates often come with security patches that keep hackers at bay. And don't forget to keep your antivirus and anti-malware software up to date, too.


Fortify Your Wi-Fi:

Your home Wi-Fi needs protection too. Set a strong password for your network, and if possible, use WPA3 encryption. And never use public Wi-Fi for sensitive stuff like online banking.


Think Before You Post:

Social media is awesome, but it's also a goldmine for scammers. Be mindful of what you share online. Those cute pet pics and vacation posts can give away more than you think. Scammers can use your info to craft convincing cons or even steal your identity.


Be a Hero, Report a Scam:

If you stumble upon a scam or smell something fishy, don't keep it to yourself. Please report it to the proper authorities. Reporting scams helps stop the bad guys and protects others from getting duped.


Stay in the Loop:

Last but not least, stay in the know. Online scams are shapeshifters, always changing tactics. Keep up with the latest trends in cybersecurity. Stay informed, and you'll stay safe. You can always check out our Instagram, Facebook, or blogs for helpful resources. 


In a nutshell, online scams aren't picky. They target all generations. Arm yourself with knowledge, stay cautious, and beef up your security. By following these tips, you'll lower the risk of falling for online scams and enjoy the internet with peace of mind. The digital world evolves fast, and we need to keep up. By following these guidelines, you're arming yourself with the best weapons to defend your finances and personal information!

Lindsie Wharff is a Marketing Specialist at Altabank. She specializes in social media and marketing content and enjoys helping people learn more about their finances.