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Editorial

Internet still has plenty of scams

Posted 7/13/21

If you’re naturally loquacious, your parents have probably told you at some point to be careful who you choose to tell information to. Some stuff is meant for family, friends and confidants …

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Editorial

Internet still has plenty of scams

Posted

If you’re naturally loquacious, your parents have probably told you at some point to be careful who you choose to tell information to. Some stuff is meant for family, friends and confidants they’d say, but not strangers.

This advice was usually rooted in an effort to keep their kids safe. But in an increasingly digital age, perhaps sharing information with a stranger at an in-person social event or gathering isn’t the greatest cause of worry anymore.

Social media platforms are often termed “social networks.” It’s a fitting name as we socialize on these sites and meet others, so essentially networking, and oftentimes when bored, we may take part in one of those fun and seemingly harmless questionnaires, where we’re asked to provide answers to a plethora of questions.
The problem is that these questionnaires present a big risk … one of identity theft and fraud.

In a piece on Maryville University’s website, regarding the risks of these types of surveys, they cite one example, a survey where people list 10 concerts they’ve attended, with one being a lie.

The piece said the danger of this particular survey is, “it provides a wealth of information that hackers can use to log into personal accounts and steal the identities of unsuspecting Facebook users. Many websites nowadays leverage knowledge-based authentication (KBA), which uses security questions to verify your identity, such as ‘what was your mother’s maiden name,’ ‘what was your first car,’ or ‘what was the first concert you attended?’

There are many examples of these types of surveys/questionnaires and we urge you to be alert and mindful about what types of information you provide online.

As restrictions lift and you begin to feel more comfortable heading back out in public and attending events, use that as an opportunity to meet with people, learn about others and possibly share those miscellaneous details that allow new friendships and common interests to be discovered.

While the advice of not sharing certain information with strangers remains apropos, you’ll probably be more cautious and on-guard when socializing in-person than behind the screen of a phone, tablet or desktop where you might be drawn into these deceptively dangerous surveys. Or at the very least it will be less likely that someone will take the name of your first dog … puppy the vampire slayer … and use it to possibly gain access to your bank accounts and more.

There are many awesome upcoming events such as the Turtle Trot, DYC River Run, Callicoon Country Fair, Riverfest, plays at Forestburgh Playhouse, a concert at Bethel Woods, or the Monster Classic.

So get out there and socialize the old-fashioned way – face to face.

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