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While there’s no failsafe way to recognize a scam, it never hurts to be vigilant. You can protect yourself when you know what to look out for. In this article, we offer tips on how to recognize that someone might be trying to scam you. If someone suspicious contacts you, for example, ask them for their first and last name. Then, use Checkpeople.com or some equivalent to run a background check on them.
Common Red Flags
A common warning sign is when a stranger contacts you unexpectedly with a really great offer, like a super cheap holiday. You might feel you’re not dealing with a real business; the company hasn’t listed a mailing address. You’ve been invited to pay through an unusual method, for example, by Western Union or iTunes vouchers. Being asked to transfer money quickly or make your mind up about something fast is highly suspicious.
Always ask for written confirmation of any agreement you’ve reached and never give personal data like a PIN or a password away.
Keep in mind that paying too much for something is not the same as a scam. Scams typically involve fraud or theft.
If you have been scammed or believe you’ve spotted a scam, report it right away.
How to Protect Yourself
To protect yourself from falling prey to an online scam, never download anything or click on a link sent by someone you don’t trust. An example is getting an email with a weird address. These usually conceal malware or viruses. Updated antivirus software will give you extra protection.
Use Conventional Payment Methods
Pay by bank transfer or debit or credit card. If things go wrong, you have additional protection. You can get your money back if someone has scammed you.
Be Careful With Personal Data
Some scammers will try to get your Social Security number, street address, or other personal information to hack into one of your profiles or accounts. Legitimate sites will rarely ask for these details without an obvious reason.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: गौ संरक्षण खोल रहा है रोजगार के नए दरवाज़े
Recognize a Fake Online Shop
Spend some time checking every site you’re planning on using for the first time. Begin with the terms and conditions. We know this is pesky and time-consuming, but trying to recover from a scam would be even more so, trust us on this. Having nothing but a PO box is a red flag. The business should have a proper address, including a street name and number.
Reading reviews about the company might help. We say might because they could be fake. To minimize that risk, look for reviews on different sites, not just that of the company itself. A padlock in the browser’s address bar is no proof you’re purchasing from a real business.
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Run a background check on yourself to see if someone has shared your details online. When a site is hacked, your login details can become public. This heightens the risk of them being used in a scam.
Understand How Your Bank Works
Find out what security questions your bank would ask if they contact you. Secure any online banking accounts with strong and unique passwords. Use a password manager if you won’t be able to remember them.
Opt for Two-factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a second step in a login that some sites will let you use. It’s a good idea to use it across all accounts, including Gmail, social networks, Outlook, and iTunes. Scammers have a very difficult time accessing accounts that have been secured via two-factor authentication.
On a Final Note: Coronavirus Scams
Sadly, the pandemic has raged on longer than we hoped, and its aftermath will be prolonged as well. Scams related to it have been on the rise for a while. These include advertising medical equipment or masks at high prices, people sending texts or emails pretending to be from state service, shady businesses selling life insurance, and more. Needless to say, you should report these.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
By- Tejas Maheta
Free VPNs tend to get a bad rap (and often for good reasons, which we'll discuss in a second). Still, there are some safe and free VPN services recommended by expats - just click the link for some solid options. Next, scroll on to see how you can put them to good use while you're abroad.
Privacy and Security (to a Certain Degree)
One of the main purposes of a VPN is to encrypt your network traffic – garble it, basically – to keep it safe from:
- ISPs that want to sell your browsing and location data for a profit
- Hackers and script kiddies lurking at every corner public hotspot
- Government surveillance agencies spying on their own citizens
Even free VPNs can do as much, as long as you go with a trustworthy provider such as those linked at the start.
On top of that, VPNs hide your real life location by masking your IP address and assigning a new one based on the server you connect to. Useful in case some cyberstalkers or trolls lure you into clicking on IP-grabbing links or scripts to determine your location. Unfortunately, it's not as effective against GPS tracking (though there are some paid VPNs out there that can spoof GPS).
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Unblock Some Websites While Abroad
While not as versatile as a subscription-based VPN, free VPNs still have some unblocking ability that can be useful to an expat. For instance, you can access your home banking or investment accounts, which in most cases block foreign traffic. Understandably so, since a lot of cyber attacks tend to be linked to international hacker networks.
Using a VPN also allows you to access small news sites from back home, who simply don't find it worth it to comply with GDPR regulations in the EU. Alternatively, you can set your virtual location outside the EU to get around all those annoying cookie consent pop-ups. Funny little side effect, but it can definitely save you some grey hairs while browsing.
Finally, free VPNs can unblock some content such as region-locked music videos, or age-restricted YouTube videos in the EU without having to give up your ID or credit card information to Google. You won't have much luck using free VPNs on content platforms like Netflix, though. Those of you looking to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites are better off using a sub-based VPN.
One of the main purposes of a VPN is to encrypt your network traffic.Wikipedia
Bypass Firewalls and Censorship
VPNs sure seem like a master thief's skeleton key, don't they? So many Internet barriers out there, all of them nullified with the help of a single tool. And yes, they can easily get around firewalls as well.
For the most part, you'll be using a VPN to unblock social media and other "distractions" at work or at school. Believe it or not, airport and hotel Wi-Fi can be pretty restrictive too. Thankfully, VPNs make short work of their firewall rules.
And while not as effective as a paid option, free VPNs can also help during Internet blackouts caused by government censorship. Look no further than the recent Hong Kong protests, the frequent social media shutdowns in Turkey, and similar cases worldwide. All of these have one thing in common: free VPN usage shot up immensely as people sought ways to contact their loved ones or post their outrage online.
Why the Negative View of Free VPNs?
You've seen all the great things you can accomplish with a free VPN. So why all the bad press about them? Well, here are some fairly valid concerns that apply to a decent chunk of free providers:
- They sell user data – after all, they need to pay for operational costs somehow. It just so happens that advertisers find your browsing habits highly valuable.
- Several free VPNs based in Hong Kong breached their "no-logs" policies and ended up leaking 1.2 TB of user data online. This isn't an uncommon occurrence, considering the data harvesting practices of most free VPNs.
- They can infect your device with malware that can extract sensitive info or otherwise cause damage. In one major case, user devices were hijacked into a botnet and used in a large scale denial-of-service attack.
Other criticisms are directed at their data caps, slow performance, the small number of overcrowded servers, and the bandwidth throttling. Add to that the fact that they don't unblock region-specific Netflix libraries or other streaming sites, and you can see why people aren't too thrilled about them.
Still, if you're not looking for anything fancy, a free VPN should tide you over until you can fit an actual subscription into your budget. Just stick to the trusty VPNs we've linked to in the beginning.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
The Cupertino-based tech giant Apple has started rolling out iOS 12.5.5 to older models of the iPhone and iPad. "This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users," Apple said in the release notes for iOS 12.5.5.
The update is available for the iPad Air, the iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3, as well as the 6th gen iPod touch, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. All of these devices were dropped from support with iOS 13. The iOS 12.5.5 update addresses issues related to maliciously crafted PDFs, web content, and apps.
ALSO READ: The September Event Of Apple Inc.
Apple had previously rolled out iOS 12.5.4 in June with security fixes for WebKit vulnerabilities and other issues. Apple has also started seeded the first betas of iOS 15.1 as well as iPadOS 15.1. After removing SharePlay in iOS 15 beta 2, Apple has re-enabled the feature in the iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, and tvOS 15.1 betas. Apple decided to pull SharePlay from the iOS 15 launch because it was not properly functioning and was still riddled with issues.
It adds features to the Health app like support for storing health-related data for Covid-19 immunisations and test results. With the latest iOS 15.1 Beta, one can now add vaccination cards to the Apple Wallet application. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Apple, iPhone, iPad, iOS, update
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Lakme Fashion Week, announced a collaboration to celebrate "NBA 75" the leagues landmark 75th Anniversary Season in 2021-22. As part of the collaboration, the NBA and Lakme Fashion Week will offer fashion designers from across India the opportunity to submit designs for an "NBA 75" collection. Select designs will be evaluated by a panel comprised of fashion designers, industry experts and local influencers, with the winning designer announced at the upcoming October edition of Lakme Fashion Week.
The winner will then be mentored by a leading fashion expert and will work alongside the NBA on a capsule collection to commemorate NBA 75. The NBA 75 range, which will include jerseys, t-shirts, headwear, sweatpants, hoodies, jackets and other apparel, will be unveiled at Lakme Fashion Week in March 2022.
"We are excited to collaborate with Lakme Fashion Week and offer Indian designers the chance to express their vision in celebration of NBA 75," said NBA Asia Executive Vice President & Managing Director Scott Levy. "The NBA and its players are synonymous with fashion and culture, and this friendly competition will showcase the talent and passion that Indian designers have for basketball and the NBA during our landmark 75th Anniversary Season." The collection will be available for purchase after the event on the NBAStore.in and at select retail destinations. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: NBA, Lakme, beauty, basketball, Lakme fashion week