While the internet can be a massively useful tool, it can also be a very dangerous place to use. Criminals use various tricks to steal your personal information and money. Here are some of the biggest technical scams that you should keep an eye out for in 2021.
1. Deep Fakes
There’s been an old saying ever since cameras were invented “the camera never lies”. This is because if you see a photo or video of something happening, you’re more likely to believe it happened than if you just read a report of it happening in the paper or were told about it without any physical proof.
Unfortunately, these days, technology means that just because there’s a photo or a video of it happening, it doesn’t mean it actually happened.
Photo editing and special effects that Hollywood moviemakers could have only dreamed about a decade ago are now becoming increasingly easier for people to use at home. That means an increasing amount of the footage we see online is different from the original.
The ability to create deep fakes is one of the most worrying technology trends in recent times. A deepfake video is simply a video that uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to mimic and grab facial images of one person and superimpose them onto another person’s body.
That means you simply need a photo of somebody to create a video that looks like they’re saying whatever you like. It is now more important than ever to check where the footage you’re watching comes from.
2. Emails Posing As Other Brands
We all have probably received an email that says it’s been written by a member of the royal family from an abroad country you know little about offering you money. Most of us simply delete these emails as we know we’ll never see any money even if we do send them our bank details as it is a scam.
Unfortunately, not all scam emails are as easy to spot. Some criminals take the logos and branding of the companies you know and trust with your information and make these emails that appear to be from real brands.
If you receive an email with your bank’s logo at the top, don’t think it’s from your bank. They’ll never ask you to confirm your bank details via email, and if you’re ever in doubt of the legitimacy of any email then ring your bank immediately.
3. Guessing Passwords
While a lot of scams rely a lot on sophisticated software, some just use simple guesswork and pure luck. There are scammers out there that will simply try and guess your password. That’s why it’s so important to avoid including obvious words like “password”, “123456” in your password.
Also avoid any favorite sports teams, names of pets, or other hobbies that hackers could find out about you by looking at your social media pages.