## [[⚠️ Beware of Online Scams]] There is a HUGE increase in online fraud (scams, account hacking .. ) across the WHOLE internet. Today, hackers getting hold of a single account can potentially mean a full destruction of your digital life. Keep an eye on your accounts, and do not ignore any suspicious activity. Suspicious activity includes: 1. getting notified that someone is trying to login to your account. 2. getting an email asking you to reset your password. 3. noticing friends/follows that you don’t recognize. **Also be careful of fraud**. Examples: 1. a message from someone asking you to invest in ANYTHING, EVEN if you know the person (hackers often impersonate your friends, or even use your friends’ own hacked accounts). 2. a message saying that you broke some account guideline and you need to pay something not to lose your account. 3. If you have a business accounts, you will get messages about infringing someone’s copyright, or someone offering you to verify your account. 4. Almost anyone you asking you for money. Those apply to ALL platforms. Things to do NOW to increase your safety: 1. **Change ALL passwords**, and do not use the same password, or a pattern of passwords, EXPECIALLY for Gmail, Facebook, iCloud (the big ones) .. losing control of those accounts to a hacker means risking EVERYTHING, since those are connected to many other apps directly and indirectly. 2. **Activate 2 factor authentication** on ALL your accounts. It’s annoying, I know, but not as annoying has having to leave with hacked accounts. 3. **DELETE ALL accounts that you do not use**. No matter how insignificant they are. Your old account on a gym app that’s collecting the dust .. delete it. Delete the accounts themselves, not just the apps. Especially delete any social media and email accounts that you do not use. 4. **VPNs are useless for protecting your security**. As a matter of fact, they sometimes increase certain risks. Nothing wrong with using a reputable VPN, but do not buy into their promises for a safe and secure internet experience. Definitely do not use ANY non-reputable VPNs. 5. **Do NOT use “burner numbers”** when creating online accounts. Those actually put you at a MUCH higher risk. It’s basically equivalent to writing your password on a Times Square bathroom stall. Unfortunately, there is no one solution to protect yourself. In addition to the precautions above, you need to increase your skepticism, use logic, and be extra diligent with your “digital hygiene”. This might seem too much work, but trust me, compared to the work and stress you will go through if one of your major accounts gets compromised, it’s nothing. **Bonus:** “Why would hackers want to hack any of my accounts?” The reality is, our online footprint is interconnected. Getting access to one account, say your harmless workout planning app, potentially means knowing your email, date of birth, and more hints that would allow a bad actor to get into other serious accounts, including gmail and Facebook (which we use to login to many apps), and even potentially to your bank account. A BEST case scenario would be taking over your account and making you pay ransom for it. I say it’s best case because it’s the simplest problem to resolve. Hackers also often use compromised accounts to perform actions that break guidelines. For instance, publishing banned Facebook ads, or posting unallowed content. This protects their own devices and IPs and allows them to run their operations longer. Potentially even perform real-life illegal actions while putting YOU at legal risk instead of them. Sometimes hackers compromise accounts in bulk to use later. Sometimes they simply want your username. Remember, hackers are no more dudes in their moms’ basements. They are full on institutions with hundreds of employees on payroll. In brief, no one is safe or immune to this. Everyone is a potential target. Always play safe. Originally published on [Medium](https://medium.com/@alichehadefarhat/be-careful-a04e598c1628) > [!seealso] Related Thoughts > > Related thougts will appear here when available.