PC Tools Tips on Avoiding Online Scams
An Internet user’s actions online can have expensive consequences. If you’re not careful while browsing, and don’t recognise signs that you’re about to be scammed, you may be coerced into giving away valuable information. PC Tools is providing important insight into how online scams work so that consumers will be protected from online scams.
One important thing to watch out for are specific keywords criminals use to catch consumers attention and encourage a click through to their scam. Detecting these keywords can put you ahead of the game when trying to avoid Internet fraud.
Common keywords PC Tools designates as scam indicators include:
Work from home scam: Home / Online / Work/ Jobs
Diet scam: Burn / Fat / Fast / Diet / Pay / Buy / Acai / Weight / Mango
Mobile Phone Scam: Service / Bill / Billed / Charges / Charged / Subscription / Subscribe / Subscribed / Terms / Conditions
“There’s a substantial database of keywords that our technology uses to help detect and assess potential scam websites. If a pop-up appears offering to help you ‘Burn Fat Fast’, but asks for payment to sign up to a super new diet plan, think twice before you go ahead,” said Richard Clooke, Online Security Expert for PC Tools.
In a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, PC Tools found that half of survey respondents admitted that they would provide credit card information in ‘get-rich-quick’ or ‘work from home’ scams. Even worse, 62 per cent of North American respondents believed their friends would be likely to do the same.
“We generally find that when people are answering for others they are more inclined to reveal their true behavior, or in this case their susceptibility. Interestingly, the survey results from all three regions demonstrate that [North American] respondents are more susceptible than either UK or American respondents for both the first and third person constructs,” said Clooke.
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Here are some of PC Tools tips on how to outsmart online scammers:
1. ASK – is this too good to be true?
$50 here, a holiday there, unlimited online offers from the world’s biggest brands – if you’re tempted by any of these free offers, then the answer is probably yes.
Many online scams trick us into revealing our personal information to secure something in return. It’s important to be aware of ‘fake offers’ to avoid being lured by savvy scammers.
2. DON’T – dish your details unless the site is secure.
Never provide personal or financial information in exchange for online offers. Details such as your mobile number, address, and credit card or banking details should never be entered on a non-secure site. When in doubt:
Double check the URL before typing a link into your browser.
Check there is a padlock icon in your browser before using your credit card online.
Check you’re on a secure site and that the address starts with ‘HTTPS’.
3. THINK – it can happen to me.
Many of us think we are savvy online, but the reality is cybercriminals are cashing in on relaxed attitudes to sharing personal details online. Results from the PC Tools study also showed that most people think scams are more likely to happen to others, rather than themselves.
We need to educate ourselves about online scams and be aware of the risk.
4. DO – invest in scam protection software.
What most of us don’t realize is some online scams don’t involve malware and while traditional Internet security is still essential, we now require additional protection to prevent cybercriminals gaining personal information via other methods.
PC Tools also considers the following scams the most popular for online tricks used to scam consumers for 2012:
- Online shopping offers e.g. bargains from unknown stores.
- Get rich quick schemes/work from home offers.
- Offers to download mobile protection software.
- Offers to download antivirus software.
- Offers to win a prize e.g. answer this survey ‘for your chance to win’...
- Movie offers e.g. search for a popular movie such as Twilight and an offer comes up to download the movie for free.
- Online donations.
The Internet is offering a new opportunity for scammers and its important to be careful when browsing. To learn more about what PC Tools offers in the form of software against online scams check out www.pctools.com/internet-security.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.