Beware These 10 Email Scams So You Don’t Get Ripped Off

Email continues to be a primary communication medium for both business and personal use despite social media’s growth. However, the ubiquity of email has also made it a prime attack vector for scammers executing malicious cons.

This comprehensive guide will provide an in-depth examination of the most insidious email scams reported to be circulating widely today, how they work, and expert advice to help you spot and stop them. Learning to identify the latest techniques fraudsters use can help you keep your data and money protected.

An Overview of Email Scamming

Email’s inherent vulnerabilities make it an ideal channel for scammers to deploy a variety of deceptive tactics. Some of the most common ploys seen include:

  • Phishing – Fraudulent emails aim to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information through spoofing, urgent calls to action, and embedded malicious links and attachments. Data is used for identity theft.
  • Malware Distribution – Malicious email attachments when downloaded infect devices with viruses, ransomware, keyloggers, and trojans designed to steal financial account credentials or encrypt files for ransom.
  • Business Email Compromise – Scammers hack or spoof employee email accounts to request unauthorized wire transfers to their accounts from finance departments and payroll managers.
  • Romance Scams – Scammers build online relationships through dating sites before eventually asking targets to send money for supposed emergencies through repeated sob stories.
  • Fake Invoices – Emails with PDF invoices attached or embedded links to view invoices aim to trick recipients into paying for items they never purchased or ordered.
  • Bogus Job Offers – Scammers advertise fake job offers through email promising generous compensation but first requiring an application fee or handing over personal information.

With so much legitimate correspondence also taking place over email, it can be tricky for the average user to identify signs of malicious messages. But awareness of common red flags can help individuals and companies steer clear of email schemes aiming to steal credentials, data, and money.

Breaking Down the Top 10 Email Scams

Let’s dive into the prevalent email scams that all users should stay vigilant against in order to detect and avoid them.

1. Phishing Scams

Phishing emails aim to steal sensitive data like login credentials and financial information through deception. Scammers typically spoof trusted brands like banks, retailers, and social media platforms to appear legitimate.

Emails claim there is a problem with your account that requires urgent action through an embedded link. However, clicking the link directs victims to a fake website controlled by scammers designed to steal entered data.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Urgent threats demanding immediate action or account suspension.
  • Requests sensitive information like passwords or SSN.
  • Email addressing you generically rather than by name.

How to Avoid It

  • Check sender email domains carefully for spoofing.
  • Never click links in unexpected emails. Navigate to sites manually.
  • Use unique secure passwords for each account. Enable two-factor authentication.

2. Malware Downloads

Scammers send emails with dangerous files attached or embedded links to download files containing malicious software. Once downloaded, malware installs itself covertly with administrator privileges. It can secretly steal data, encrypt files for ransom, allow remote computer control, and infect networks.

Malware payloads include info-stealing trojans, password-harvesting keyloggers, and file-encrypting ransomware. Users may be completely unaware of infections for months before credentials and data are stolen.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Attachments ending in .exe, .zip, .iso are suspicious.
  • Emails warning attachments are “protected” should raise red flags.
  • Links lead to non-matching destination URLs.

How to Avoid It

  • Never open email attachments or click links if source is questionable.
  • Ensure comprehensive antivirus software is installed and fully updated.
  • Check email file extensions carefully before downloading. JPEGs can be .exe files.

3. Business Email Compromise

Cybercriminals target businesses by hacking or spoofing executive email accounts to request unauthorized payments or sensitive data from employees. Emails appear to come from within the company, increasing chances of success.

Once scam emails are sent, employees may wire large sums of money or send tax forms to scammer accounts. Data breaches also occur by returning requested info. Losses can total millions before companies realize they’ve been scammed.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Requests come from outside normal company procedures or chains of command.
  • Emails have odd tones, wording, signatures, or domains compared to normal.
  • Urgency and secrecy demanded around unusual payment orders or data requests.

How to Avoid It

  • Verify unusual payment or data requests through secondary communication channels like phone.
  • Implement payment authorization controls requiring secondary approvals.
  • Educate employees on cybersecurity and potential business email scams.

4. Romance Scams

Romance scammers meet daters on matchmaking platforms before shifting communications to email. After building affection over weeks and months, they fabricate emergencies requiring money like medical troubles, travel issues, legal problems, etc.

Victims trust their online romantic interests and feel compelled to provide financial assistance repeatedly once scammers play on their emotions with fabricated sad stories and hardships.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Refusal or excuses to meet in person after extended online interaction.
  • Profiles using stolen photos or modeling imagery.
  • Sudden requests for money using gift cards, wire transfers, etc.

How to Avoid It

  • Don’t send money to online-only romantic partners claiming emergencies.
  • Conduct reverse image searches on photos to uncover fakes.
  • Insist on video chatting before growing attached to online daters.

5. Fake Invoices

Scammers send emails disguised as unpaid invoices from well-known retailers and service providers. They may include links to view the fake invoice or have PDFs attached.

If recipients aren’t carefully inspecting senders and details, they may be tricked into paying the invoice to avoid late fees or disruption of services. Invoices often appear overdue and threatening to be highly coercive of fast payment.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Businesses requesting payment for services you don’t recall signing up for.
  • Links lead to sketchy domains rather than official business sites.
  • Requests for unusual payment methods like gift cards.

How to Avoid It

  • Verify invoices directly through official account dashboards rather than links or attachments.
  • Confirm business names match exactly rather than slight misspellings.
  • Don’t be pressured into paying suspicious invoices quickly under duress.

6. Bogus Job Offer Scams

Scammers advertise fake remote jobs through email promising generous salaries, flexible hours, and requiring little effort. When applicants inquire, they are “hired” contingent on paying an application fee or taxes upfront via wire transfer.

Once sent, the “employer” ceases contact or may request more payments for equipment and training that never materializes before disappearing.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Jobs sound too good to be true with inflated salaries for easy remote work.
  • Interviews conducted via email raise red flags. Real recruiters will call.
  • Requests for payments upfront before formal hiring procedures.

How to Avoid It

  • Research companies hiring independently before applying to ensure legitimacy.
  • Never pay any fees or taxes before being formally employed with paperwork finalized.
  • Don’t provide sensitive personal information to unfamiliar people contacting you by email.

7. Fake Political Groups

Scammers impersonate political parties and advocacy groups from both sides of the political spectrum when election cycles ramp up. Emails spread disinformation and propaganda while soliciting donations to fake PACs and causes.

Rather than supporting real candidates and policies, scammers pocket contribution payments from loyal followers not double-checking group legitimacy in fervor to support the partisan cause.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Group names mimic real organizations with slight misspellings or variations.
  • Emails make inflammatory requests for immediate financial contributions.
  • Links lead to dubious domains rather than real non-profit sites.

How to Avoid It

  • Watch for exaggerated partisan rhetoric aiming to provoke emotions without facts.
  • Verify real names of advocacy groups and political action committees before donating.
  • Check Charity Navigator and IRS databases to confirm non-profit status.

8. Fake Password Reset Requests

Scammers send spoofed emails pretending to be from major sites like Facebook, Google, or Amazon. Emails claim you requested a password reset requiring confirmation by clicking a link to avoid account suspension.

However, clicking just directs victims to sophisticated phishing sites designed to steal login credentials and personal information once entered. Rather than resetting real passwords, users hand over account access.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Links lead to odd URLs unrelated to the legitimate site.
  • Threats of immediate account deletion pending confirmation.
  • Lack of personal identifiers like your name or username.

How to Avoid It

  • Manually navigate to real sites if you requested a password reset. Avoid clicking any links.
  • Hover over links to preview destinations in emails rather than assuming valid.
  • Setup account alerts to notify you if any changes like password resets occur.

9. Fake Bank Warnings

Scammers impersonate large national banks and send customers emails warning that their accounts are locked, compromised, or need to be immediately verified to avoid suspension.

Urgency is created through threats of permanent account closure within days if no action is taken. Embedded links direct recipients to fake banking portals gathering login credentials, account info, and social security numbers once entered.

How to Spot This Scam

  • Messages state you must act quickly to avoid account closure.
  • Links lead to mismatched domains that are not the official bank’s website.
  • Lack personalized identifiers like your name and account number.

How to Avoid It

  • Disregard generalized warnings about account issues. Banks will call you directly if real concerns arise.
  • Visit your bank’s official website and login rather than through links if you wish to check your account.
  • Setup account alerts to notify you directly of any status changes or password resets.

10. Fake Shipping Notifications

Scammers disguise malicious links as tracking updates from delivery companies about an on-the-way package. Curiosity about what is coming gets recipients to click on a link to fill out delivery preferences disguising phishing sites that steal account credentials once entered.

The emails spoof major shippers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS to appear authentic. However, the embedded “tracking links” hide efforts to harvest login information for data theft rather than real package tracking.

How to Spot This Scam

  • You aren’t actually expecting a delivery from the company emailing you.
  • Links go to mismatched domains that are subtle variations of real shipping sites.
  • Limited tracking information is provided about the shipment.

How to Avoid It

  • Do not click direct links if you are not expecting a delivery that matches the carrier emailing you.
  • Manually navigate to delivery company sites if you wish to check tracking rather than using links.
  • Enter tracking numbers directly on carrier sites rather than relying on bare email links.

What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed via Email

If you’ve been victimized by an email scam leading to identity theft or financial fraud, take these steps to secure accounts and recover losses:

Report Phishing Emails

Forward phishing scam messages to spam@uce.gov and to the FTC at spam@uce.gov. You can also report phishing email addresses directly to Gmail and Outlook for investigation. Reporting fraudulent emails helps get them blacklisted.

Reset Passwords

Immediately change passwords on any accounts potentially compromised by phishing scams. Enable two-factor authentication for banking, email, and social media logins requiring extra login confirmation when possible.

Contact Banks

Notify your bank fraud departments regarding any financial theft, compromised accounts, or unauthorized charges resulting from emailed scams. Dispute unauthorized charges and request new account numbers to prevent additional losses.

Monitor Credit

Check your credit reports frequently through Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion after falling victim to identity theft scams for signs of fraudulent new accounts opened in your name. Enroll in dark web monitoring to be alerted if your details appear for sale online.

Scan Devices

Run complete antivirus scans to check for malware or spyware that may have infected your computer through downloaded scam email attachments. Uninstall suspicious programs manually through your control panel if not flagged automatically.

Hire a Lawyer

For high losses, hiring a lawyer can potentially facilitate negotiations, asset seizure, or court actions to pursue financial restitution and aid criminal investigations into sophisticated scammers. They may identify additional recovery options.

Spread Awareness

Let your personal and work connections know about the scam tactic used on you so they can be aware. Knowledge spreading makes people less likely to fall for the same scheme but requires warning them first.

How to Protect Yourself from Email Scams

Here are key tips and best practices to help individuals and businesses prevent damaging email scams:

  • Never click direct links in unexpected emails – Always navigate to sites manually.
  • Check sender email addresses for misspellings or typos indicating spoofing.
  • Double check recipient names used match your name or company name.
  • Be skeptical of urgent threats demanding immediate action.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication on email accounts when available.
  • Carefully inspect email attachments before downloading.
  • Hover over links to preview destinations which may not match content.
  • Turn on spam filters to autoblock suspected malicious messages.
  • Report phishing emails and messages to email providers for investigation.
  • Educate employees on cybersecurity and common business email scams.
  • Require secondary confirmation for large or unusual wire transfers.

Keeping software patched and updated, security protections enabled, and being wary of unsolicited attachments goes a long way in preventing successful email scams. Report scam emails to providers when identified to help warn others and get fraudulent accounts shut down.

Is Your Device Infected? Check for Malware

If your device is running slowly or acting suspicious, it may be infected with malware. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free is a great option for scanning your device and detecting potential malware or viruses. The free version can efficiently check for and remove many common infections.  

Malwarebytes can run on Windows, Mac, and Android devices. Depending on which operating system is installed on the device you’re trying to run a Malwarebytes scan, please click on the tab below and follow the displayed steps.

Malwarebytes For WindowsMalwarebytes For MacMalwarebytes For Android

Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Windows to remove malware

Malwarebytes stands out as one of the leading and widely-used anti-malware solutions for Windows, and for good reason. It effectively eradicates various types of malware that other programs often overlook, all at no cost to you. When it comes to disinfecting an infected device, Malwarebytes has consistently been a free and indispensable tool in the battle against malware. We highly recommend it for maintaining a clean and secure system.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Windows

    You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR WINDOWS DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
  2.  

    Install Malwarebytes

    After the download is complete, locate the MBSetup file, typically found in your Downloads folder. Double-click on the MBSetup file to begin the installation of Malwarebytes on your computer. If a User Account Control pop-up appears, click “Yes” to continue the Malwarebytes installation.

    MBAM1
  3. Follow the On-Screen Prompts to Install Malwarebytes

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, the setup wizard will guide you through the process.

    • You’ll first be prompted to choose the type of computer you’re installing the program on—select either “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer” as appropriate, then click on Next.

      MBAM3 1
    • Malwarebytes will now begin the installation process on your device.

      MBAM4
    • When the Malwarebytes installation is complete, the program will automatically open to the “Welcome to Malwarebytes” screen.

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    • On the final screen, simply click on the Open Malwarebytes option to start the program.

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  4. Enable “Rootkit scanning”.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start, and you will see the main screen as shown below. To maximize Malwarebytes’ ability to detect malware and unwanted programs, we need to enable rootkit scanning. Click on the “Settings” gear icon located on the left of the screen to access the general settings section.

    MBAM8

    In the settings menu, enable the “Scan for rootkits” option by clicking the toggle switch until it turns blue.

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    Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the “Dashboard” button in the left pane to get back to the main screen.

  5. Perform a Scan with Malwarebytes.

    To start a scan, click the Scan button. Malwarebytes will automatically update its antivirus database and begin scanning your computer for malicious programs.

    MBAM10
  6. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now scan your computer for browser hijackers and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

    MBAM11
  7. Quarantine detected malware

    Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete, it will display a list of detected malware, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. To effectively remove these threats, click the “Quarantine” button.

    MBAM12

    Malwarebytes will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the program’s quarantine.

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  8. Restart your computer.

    When removing files, Malwarebytes may require a reboot to fully eliminate some threats. If you see a message indicating that a reboot is needed, please allow it. Once your computer has restarted and you are logged back in, you can continue with the remaining steps.

    MBAM14

Your computer should now be free of trojans, adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing Malwarebytes Premium to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Mac to remove malware

Malwarebytes for Mac is an on-demand scanner that can destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss without costing you absolutely anything. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free, and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Mac by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR MAC DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Mac)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the setup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on setup file to install Malwarebytes

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes for Mac Installer which will guide you through the installation process. Click “Continue“, then keep following the prompts to continue with the installation process.

    Click Continue to install Malwarebytes for Mac

    Click again on Continue to install Malwarebytes for Mac for Mac

    Click Install to install Malwarebytes on Mac

    When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.

  4. Select “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer”.

    The Malwarebytes Welcome screen will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
    Select Personal Computer or Work Computer mac

  5. Click on “Scan”.

    To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes for Mac will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
    Click on Scan button to start a system scan Mac

  6. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware, browser hijackers, and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Wait for Malwarebytes for Mac to scan for malware

  7. Click on “Quarantine”.

    When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malware that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
    Review the malicious programs and click on Quarantine to remove malware

  8. Restart computer.

    Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes For Mac requesting to restart computer

Your Mac should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed a malicious program on your computer, you might want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove a malicious program from your computer, please ask for help in our Mac Malware Removal Help & Support forum.

Scan your phone with Malwarebytes for Android to remove malware

Malwarebytes for Android automatically detects and removes dangerous threats like malware and ransomware so you don’t have to worry about your most-used device being compromised. Aggressive detection of adware and potentially unwanted programs keeps your Android phone or tablet running smooth.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Android.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Android by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR ANDROID DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Android)
  2. Install Malwarebytes for Android on your phone.

    In the Google Play Store, tap “Install” to install Malwarebytes for Android on your device.

    Tap Install to install Malwarebytes for Android

    When the installation process has finished, tap “Open” to begin using Malwarebytes for Android. You can also open Malwarebytes by tapping on its icon in your phone menu or home screen.
    Malwarebytes for Android - Open App

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup process

    When Malwarebytes will open, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through a series of permissions and other setup options.
    This is the first of two screens that explain the difference between the Premium and Free versions. Swipe this screen to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 1
    Tap on “Got it” to proceed to the next step.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 2
    Malwarebytes for Android will now ask for a set of permissions that are required to scan your device and protect it from malware. Tap on “Give permission” to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 3
    Tap on “Allow” to permit Malwarebytes to access the files on your phone.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 4

  4. Update database and run a scan with Malwarebytes for Android

    You will now be prompted to update the Malwarebytes database and run a full system scan.

    Malwarebytes fix issue

    Click on “Update database” to update the Malwarebytes for Android definitions to the latest version, then click on “Run full scan” to perform a system scan.

    Update database and run Malwarebytes scan on phone

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning your phone for adware and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning Android for Vmalware

  6. Click on “Remove Selected”.

    When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes for Android has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, tap on the “Remove Selected” button.
    Remove malware from your phone

  7. Restart your phone.

    Malwarebytes for Android will now remove all the malicious apps that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.


Your phone should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed a malicious app on your phone, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your phone after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Frequently Asked Questions About Email Scams

How can I identify a phishing email?

Phishing emails often have mismatched links, spoofed domains, generic greetings, urgent threats demanding action, and requests for sensitive information. Inspect sender addresses carefully.

What should I do if I clicked a link in a suspicious email?

If you clicked a shady link, change your account passwords immediately for any sites affected. Scan your device for malware and enable login protections like two-factor authentication to prevent access in case of credential theft.

Is it safe to ever open email attachments?

It’s best to avoid opening email attachments you weren’t expecting, even from contacts you know. They may unknowingly be spreading infected files. Scan attachments with antivirus software before opening if necessary.

How can I avoid romance scams by email?

Conduct reverse image searches on photos of anyone you meet online to uncover fakes. Video chat before becoming too attached. Never send money to rescue online-only romantic partners claiming temporary hardship or emergencies.

Are job offers sent by email legitimate?

It’s risky to accept job offers in unsolicited emails before verifying the company’s legitimacy. Research the hiring company independently through trusted directories and never pay any supposed registration fees upfront before formal hiring is complete.

What should I do if I receive a suspicious invoice by email?

Contact the company directly through their official customer service lines or your account dashboard to verify any emailed invoices before paying. Avoid email links claiming to view unpaid bills.

How can I prevent business email compromise scams?

Implement strong email security controls like mandatory secondary confirmation of unusual payments and data requests. Educate employees on cyber threats like business email compromise schemes targeting companies.

Is it safe to donate to political groups emailing fundraising appeals?

Vet any advocacy groups and PACs requesting donations thoroughly before contributing any money. Scammers impersonate real organizations to steal from supporters.

How do I recover losses from an email wire transfer scam?

Contact your bank immediately and report unauthorized wire transfers due to email scams. You may be able to reverse the latest fraudulent transaction only if noticed fast enough. Legal action may help for large losses.

Can I get hacked just by opening emails?

Simply opening or previewing emails in your inbox won’t infect your device or compromise accounts. Clicking links and downloading attachments in malicious messages poses the real risk. Keep security protections updated to catch threats.

Be wary of any unsolicited messages and do not provide sensitive information by email to unverified parties. Look for scam warning signs and report malicious emails to providers when spotted. Your vigilance will help protect against email schemes.

Conclusion

As email continues to be a primary digital communication tool for all demographics, scammers have ramped up attacks aiming to capitalize on users letting their guard down. This guide provided an overview of the top 10 email scams exploiting vulnerabilities through phishing attempts, malware downloads, invoice fraud, romance cons, bogus job offers, and more.

Knowing common red flags like mismatched links, spoofed domains, urgent threats demanding action, and shady attachments can help recipients identify malicious messages. Following best practices like avoiding direct clicks, reporting phishing attempts, enabling account security, and verifying legitimacy before payments can stop most email scams in their tracks.

Spread awareness on the latest email fraud tactics to help protect your organization and personal connections. Everyone should stay vigilant in assessing risks when reviewing unexpected messages, critically analyzing links before clicking, and refraining from opening dangerous attachments. Keeping your defenses attuned by adopting secure email habits is key to sidestepping devastating email scams in the modern era.

How to Stay Safe Online

Here are 10 basic security tips to help you avoid malware and protect your device:

  1. Use a good antivirus and keep it up-to-date.

    Shield Guide

    It's essential to use a good quality antivirus and keep it up-to-date to stay ahead of the latest cyber threats. We are huge fans of Malwarebytes Premium and use it on all of our devices, including Windows and Mac computers as well as our mobile devices. Malwarebytes sits beside your traditional antivirus, filling in any gaps in its defenses, and providing extra protection against sneakier security threats.

  2. Keep software and operating systems up-to-date.

    updates-guide

    Keep your operating system and apps up to date. Whenever an update is released for your device, download and install it right away. These updates often include security fixes, vulnerability patches, and other necessary maintenance.

  3. Be careful when installing programs and apps.

    install guide

    Pay close attention to installation screens and license agreements when installing software. Custom or advanced installation options will often disclose any third-party software that is also being installed. Take great care in every stage of the process and make sure you know what it is you're agreeing to before you click "Next."

  4. Install an ad blocker.

    Ad Blocker

    Use a browser-based content blocker, like AdGuard. Content blockers help stop malicious ads, Trojans, phishing, and other undesirable content that an antivirus product alone may not stop.

  5. Be careful what you download.

    Trojan Horse

    A top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware—programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an app: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather.

  6. Be alert for people trying to trick you.

    warning sign

    Whether it's your email, phone, messenger, or other applications, always be alert and on guard for someone trying to trick you into clicking on links or replying to messages. Remember that it's easy to spoof phone numbers, so a familiar name or number doesn't make messages more trustworthy.

  7. Back up your data.

    backup sign

    Back up your data frequently and check that your backup data can be restored. You can do this manually on an external HDD/USB stick, or automatically using backup software. This is also the best way to counter ransomware. Never connect the backup drive to a computer if you suspect that the computer is infected with malware.

  8. Choose strong passwords.

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    Use strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts. Avoid using personal information or easily guessable words in your passwords. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your accounts whenever possible.

  9. Be careful where you click.

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    Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. These could potentially contain malware or phishing scams.

  10. Don't use pirated software.

    Shady Guide

    Avoid using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing programs, keygens, cracks, and other pirated software that can often compromise your data, privacy, or both.

To avoid potential dangers on the internet, it's important to follow these 10 basic safety rules. By doing so, you can protect yourself from many of the unpleasant surprises that can arise when using the web.

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