Without a shadow of a doubt, there are many kinds of shenanigans plying the internet, looking for easy prey. You can also call them wolves in sheep’s clothing. They’re pretending to help you while at the same time keeping their eye on your money purse. They’re using all the tricks of the trade too. Phishing schemes pose as an authority figure getting the information to rob you cold.
Then there’s those who pose a service (work-at-home jobs, apartment rentals) only to ask you for a down payment to get things going. Even love is used as these people use a fake account in social media to lure you into romance. The list is getting longer by the day. Worse, these unscrupulous entities use social engineering to the hilt, making the most of your human emotions to get you to action.
By and large, you need to protect yourself. For starters, there’s the law. Knowing your legal remedies can go a long way to go after these cybercriminals. When you do, you may still be able to get your money or data back should a hack happen. Best of all, there’s protection. Making sure a hack won’t ever touch your website is wise. As in any battle of wills, forewarned is forearmed.
Your Legal Remedies when Scammed
Take note that when you’re scammed, you’re already at a losing end of the battle. Think of it as a thief running away from your office after he steals your treasure. You will have to go after him, right? And that can be an uphill battle.
With that said, the best way to handle online scams is to prevent them from ever getting a foothold using the internet.
The good news is you may still have a way to get back money or data that was stolen — if you act fast enough.
Once you realize you’re scammed, the first course of action should be to ask for a refund. When that fails, don’t waste time lodging a complaint in the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Alternatively, you can also file one in the consumer protection office of your locality.
The FTC handles online fraud such as credit scams and identity theft. And then some.
Once the case proceeds, online scammers can be charged with wire fraud, a federal case. By definition, wire fraud is a fraud that’s committed using electronic communications technology: internet, phone, email. Once convicted, the perpetrator will be ordered to pay restitution, to compensate you financially for the damage done.
Know that internet scams can be prosecuted under state and federal laws. A good example is the federal CAN-SPAM law. Short for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, CAN-SPAM was passed in Congress in 2003 to give you protection against email fraud.
That you should act quickly is echoed by no less than INTERPOL itself. Here’s the global organization’s take.
Preventing Online Fraud
The best way to prevent online fraud is to educate yourself and your people about the unscrupulous acts of these online criminals. As most of these online crimes involve a “willing victim” making sure you and your people know how to combat social engineering is a must.
Additionally, strengthen your defense online. A good way to start is with your business web hosting platform or service. Not only will a good host allow you to build a top-level, attractive website, but it can also offer you protection against unscrupulous hacks. In short, give you wider functionalities.
First up, you need to review the plan you select from your web host. Even the cheapest plans can come with security measures against hacks. What’s important is you know what are the levels of protection your web host can give you.
Usually, there’s managed hosting and shared hosting. While shared hosting can be cheaper, it could put you at a higher risk. As the name suggests, shared hosting means your website is coupled with a host of other websites. This means you share disk space and storage. That can mean your website can be compromised should other websites you’re sharing hosting with is compromised.
That is a scary notion. If a virus attacks your “neighbor website”, you can also be infected in the long run. You didn’t even get the dangerous program yourself somebody else did.
On the other side of the fence, managed hosting will cost you but their level of protection is way more dedicated. It can be a great option when you’ve grown a business. And don’t want your widened customer data to be breached.
Then again, getting yourself greater protection can come in many forms. Here’s a string of actions you can do to amp your online security.
It’s true. Protecting yourself can be a tall order. But it shouldn’t too much of a burden if you face it head-on. After all, it’s a small price to pay to succeed by leaps and bounds.