We’re living in a digital world. Money isn’t really real anymore – at least not in the material sense. Most of the money in the world doesn’t even exist in the physical realm. It is all in the form of stocks, credits, and crypto. We’re truly living in a world which resides outside of the wildest dreams of economists and financial experts of the olden days.
However, this reality is just as good as it is bad. The good thing is that people can enjoy the ultimate convenience depending on their needs. Things are far more practical than they used to be, as these days, we can pay with cards or even our phones.
This digital financial world is something wholly new, and it abides by brand new rules a lot of people aren’t acquainted with – making the world the perfect breeding ground for new-age scams.
In this article, we’ll explore how to evade the financial scams of tomorrow, today.
Know Your Enemy
With the world of digital finance growing by the day, so are the new scams that plague it. Now, while the first thing that pops into your mind might be high-tech hackers, that’s the least of your worries.
The thing you should be worried about is your security. When handling your digital finances, there is a fine line between protecting yourself and your money and exposing both your personal and financial information to the world.
In essence, this means that in more cases than not, you are your biggest enemy when it comes to digital finance. Thousands of people still fall for online scams, be they related to finances or other too-good-to-be-true deals.
What is OPSEC?
OPSEC means operational security – and it includes all the protective measures you have put in place, how you handle your digital finances, and to what degree you will protect yourself.
Putting your passwords on remember mode, making simple passwords, and telling people just how much money you have in your account is poor OPSEC.
One of the most common scams these days is phishing. According to ABC, people still continue losing their money thanks to such misleading emails. Remember never to interact with fraudulent emails. You can tell an email is fraudulent if it hits any of the red flags. For instance, it might contain errors, incorrect capitalization, or simply seem too unexpected.
The second thing you need to worry about is links. Some links contain malware or trackers, so never open links that don’t have “HTTPS” before them or lead to an untrustworthy destination.
Never download anything that you’re not sure is 100% safe, as it might contain spyware, malware, and other trouble.
This last one is for the crypto enthusiasts – never, ever give your seed phrase to anyone. No one will ever ask you for your seed phrase, no matter how legitimate they might look.
How to Protect Yourself
If you want to perfect your OPSEC, there are a couple of things you can do. The first thing you should do is take a look at your passwords. If you use the same password for everything, it’s time to change it.
A strong password should be long, contain letters, numbers, and symbols, and it shouldn’t be easy to remember. Your mind has a funny way of remembering keystrokes and passwords, no matter how complex. While something might seem overly elaborate at first sight, please give it a couple of days; it will catch on.
The second thing you should do is disable password remembrance in browsers and apps. It’s always best to type it out, as the passwords that browsers remember can be compromised. The best solution would be to use a password manager to store all your combinations safely.
Second of all, it’s time to get yourself some software protection. If you’re in Decentralized Finance or Crypto, this should come as second nature, but if you’re looking to protect your e-Banking account, it might not be necessary.
The first software solution you should get is a VPN app. A Virtual Private Network is a convenient tool that protects your connection and data from common dangers. For instance, a VPN encrypts your entire internet traffic. Thus, everything you share is safe, even if you stumble upon an unsecured website. When it comes to finances, a VPN reassures that none of your passwords leak, and the connection is always protected (even on Wi-Fi).
The second thing you need to take care of is encryption. It’s far simpler to encrypt something than decrypt something, and with things such as AES and SHA256, the reality is available through software such as VeraCrypt.
The digital age is ripe with scams, rug pulls, and a wide range of people that are just aching to steal your money – protect yourself against all of these by using some common sense, proper opens, and a little bit of software along the way.