Types of Online Fraud and How to Avoid Them
November 14, 2023
When browsing the internet, we interact with multiple websites and other people. But this world of opportunities offered by the network, for shopping, socializing, getting informed, learning, and entertaining, also has a less friendly side. We refer to the constant scams that can be found in the digital world, the attacks that seek to steal data, and any type of online fraud.
Below, we will review the main types of online fraud and provide some tips to prevent them. We will also see how many of these problems can be avoided by using digital identity technology.
Main Types of Internet Frauds
In this type of scam, attackers try to obtain our data. In general, their aim is to obtain banking credentials to access our funds. They achieve this by sending messages, through social networks or email, to ask for personal information or to redirect us to a malicious website that imitates the official website of a bank or a commerce platform. When we enter, we are asked to enter our password, as if we were accessing it normally, and this information gets recorded in the systems of the malicious site.
To prevent phishing attacks, we must be cautious with the messages we receive. We should not click on a link if we are unsure who sent it or where it redirects to. We should also avoid downloading files sent by unknown individuals. And if we access a site where we need to enter passwords and other private information, we must ensure that it corresponds to the official website, for example, by checking that the URL is correct.
With a digital identity and financial protocol like Didit, it would be easier to overcome this type of scam. Within a platform, such as a social network, the problem of bots could be significantly reduced because it would be easier to verify that an account corresponds to a real person. This reduces the chances of receiving malicious messages.
This problem consists of mass emails or messages on different platforms, such as social networks, which are often invasive and indiscriminate advertisements. But sometimes, they also incorporate attacks like phishing. Again, it is important to check who sent the message, label it as spam if necessary, or block the sender.
Digital identities make it difficult to send mass messages because there are ways to identify, through pattern analysis, which accounts behave in this way. Thus, it becomes easier to block emails coming from these types of identities, which also prefer to maintain a low profile.
This type of fraud is related to the previous ones but can be much more personalized. The attacker resorts to emotions to move us to compassion, stimulate our desire for profit, or even evoke tenderness or amusement. These are communications that can even come from people we know if their account has been previously hacked. The goal is always to obtain profitable data, such as banking information.
To prevent this type of scam, it is first necessary to use common sense. If a contact sends us a message with a super promotion from Amazon, we have to question whether this person normally behaves that way instead of automatically clicking on the link.
With a layer of digital identity like Didit, it is more difficult for an account to lose its credentials and send malicious messages. To access our profile, we need to sign a transaction with the private key of our blockchain wallet. This guarantee is complemented by the robustness of the security standards used by our protocol (HSM or Hardware Security Model).
This online fraud consists of stealing highly identifiable personal data, such as Social Security numbers, banking information, or civil documents. The goal is to impersonate our identity and take advantage of this situation to carry out various fraudulent actions, such as applying for a mortgage in our name or making payments with our credit card.
To avoid this type of fraud, it is always advisable to use strong passwords and be wary of unexpected requests for personal information. It is also important not to publicly share personal information, for example, on social networks.
With digital identity technology, it is also possible to combat this threat. Didit allows us to have absolute control over our data and share it with whom we want. Moreover, we no longer need an account and a password for each site, which reduces the attack surface for potential theft.
Digital Identity as a Containment Wall
These are some of the forms that online fraud takes. However, it is a field that is constantly evolving. Attackers are always looking for new methods to gain access to user accounts and exploit them. Hence, we must always keep in mind the usual recommendations: not clicking on suspicious links or downloading files from unknown sources, maintaining strong security passwords, and not sharing personal data unnecessarily.
But in this context, digital identity technology can also help us combat many of these threats. With Didit, we gain security by being able to access websites or applications through a single account that depends on the digital signature of a transaction. We must execute this operation in our wallet, the private keys of which only we know. This way, it becomes more difficult for our account to be hacked and used for sending malicious messages.
Do you want to know more about how Didit can help you in your daily life? Create your digital identity and explore all the options offered by our decentralized digital identity protocol.