Tag Archives: online security

tinder and match.com scams

Match.com Scams: Security Tips for Dating Sites & Apps

Avoid scammers & protect your privacy on dating sites like match.com: Are you thinking of trying out an online dating site? Millions of people now have profiles on Match.com, Tinder, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish, and online dating is now a multi-billion dollar business.

But wait, before you go ahead and set up your dating profile, there are some things that you need to know. Protecting your privacy on dating sites and avoiding scams is very important. There are so many people out there who want nothing more than to take you for a ride.

If you want to keep yourself (and your finances!) safe, you need to be as cautious as possible. Luckily for you, we have all the information you could possibly need to protect yourself. Enjoy!

match.com security scammers

Tip: Actually read the privacy policy

Before you sign up for any dating sites, you need to check out their privacy policy. Most people simply select ‘accept’ without reading what they’re agreeing to. The problem with that is that you could be signing all your personal information away without even realizing it. Frankly, that’s a very scary thought! Here are some of the things that you have to be mindful of:

  • The site giving your information to third parties
  • Whether your profile can be found by search engines
  • The information that is shown as ‘public’

It’s well worth taking the time to sift through all the text and figure out what you’re agreeing to. That way, you can take care of your personal information and truly understand what rights you’re giving away here.

Tip: Be ultra strict about your settings

Once you’ve actually set up your site, it’s time to take a proper look at your settings. Sure, it’s easy to just leave it and assume that it will all be okay, but doing so is a real mistake. Remember, you should have a whole load of control over what is shown on your profile and what is not. Head to the settings tab and see what controls you have.

If you want to protect your privacy, it may be worth making yourself ‘invisible’ to the public. That way, you can make sure that only people you want to contact you can contact you.

Be extra careful on “free” dating sites

“When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.”

Open a “free” swimming pool in the middle of the city, and see what happens. Pretty soon you won’t want to stay in the water! Dating sites shouldn’t be free either. There should be a cost to participate, and a valid credit card attached to every account.

Match.com has a free trial, but it only lasts 7 days at the most. New members on a free trial are a mixed bag, so be extra careful in your interactions with them. (Also know what a site like match.com really costs before signing up)

No ‘free’ dating sites or apps should ever ask you to hand over your banking details. If they do, you should be very careful about handing them over. In the same respect, if on the off chance a user asks you to give your account details, you absolutely need to report them.

Tip: Keep your communications safe

One of the things that you will come across time and time again is match.com scammers asking you to hand over your phone number or email. If you’ve only just started to talk to them via the site or app, you really don’t want to rush into external communications. The truth of the matter is that if this person’s a con artist, they could well want to lure you away from the site to scam you.

If you do wish to chat to people outside of the app or site, it could be worth making a dedicated email address (that’s not attached to any of your personal information or accounts) that you can use. That way, you can speak to anyone without worrying that your personal information will be available to them.

How to catch a ‘catfish’

online dating scams

In case you haven’t heard, ‘catfishing’ is a massive deal for the online community. If you’re hoping to keep your privacy safe on dating sites, you need to be aware of this common issue. Basically, there are people out there who will pretend to be someone they are not, i.e. assume the identity of another individual.

Usually, Tinder or match.com scammers (or other popular dating sites) will do this so that they can con people out of money or steal their identity. You might also fall victim of Ransomware, where someone locks you out of your own computer and demands that you pay a ransom to access your files. Yikes! (consider backing up your files

When you first start talking to someone, it’s worth doing a little background research. Take a look at their social media accounts and online activity to see whether they are legitimate. Who are their friends online? Hopefully they have ties to a good mix of family and friends, and not just superficial ties to more shady characters or fake Facebook accounts.

Tip: try a “Google reverse image search”

match scammersIf you want to check out if a user is who they say they are, there’s a simple trick you may wish to use.

Copy their picture from the site and reverse image search it on Google.

If you find that the photo appears on other sites under a different name, you should steer clear of that person. If you find anything else troubling, you may even want to report them to the site.

Finally, avoid these common scams

Of course, you should take all of the above into consideration when it comes to setting up your site. However, there are a few common scams that it’s worth knowing about ahead of time. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The ‘sob story’ scam: This scam on match.com or Tinder is perhaps the most common. Someone you start talking to on a site like match.com will suddenly have an ‘emergency’ and need financial help. As tempted as you might be to give them a loan, don’t do it! Remember you don’t know this person at all and you owe them nothing. Just last year a woman lost her lifesavings to a match.com scam, ($270k) which is hard to comprehend, but shows you an extreme example of how people get conned by scammers
  • The malicious link scam: If someone sends you a link and asks you to click on it, it’s a red flag.  Much of the time, the site will be a porn site or even a page with a virus or creepware on it, which can be really hard to get rid of. (consider having Norton Security on your devices) 
  • The webcam scam: You need to think twice before agreeing to go on webcam with someone you don’t know. They can record the session (and whatever happens during it!) and use it to blackmail you later. Be careful.

It’s not a bad idea to read all the bad reviews and complaints for match.com before joining. It might scare you away, or it might just make you more savvy.

If you follow all of the above advice, you should have no problem using dating sites securely and safely. Remember, you are in control of the information you give out, and so you can make sure that you are always as private as possible. Happy dating!

*Dating photo credits: Huffington Post + omgphotos.com

creepware security online

New Creepware Threat: Security Software Protects Your Computer

New Security Threat: Remote Access Trojans, aka “Creepware” – (Please share this!) As if there weren’t enough potential security threats against your Mac or PC computer, a new spyware virus called, “creepware,” has emerged.

Why should you care about creepware? It literally gives hackers full remote access and control of your computer, without you knowing. It can quickly get installed when you download something online, or even from links on social media sites like Facebook. Here’s a video from Norton:

creepware computer virusPretty creepy, huh? While some attackers may want to get on your computer to steal your music and look through your photos, one common practice is to take over your built in web cam, and literally watch you remotely through your own computer!

You know that laptop that your daughter left on after doing her homework? With creepware, it’s as good as a window right into her bedroom for any number of creeps to look through. I’m sure most men wouldn’t want to be watched while they are online at night (doing important research of course) either. Yikes!

In a recent episode of Shark Tank, one of the inventions was a little plastic blocker that you can slide over your web cam, which is a good start. (I’m sure a post-it note would do as well) For more comprehensive protection, consider software from a top name in internet security like Norton or McAfee.

WHAT DOES CREEPWARE DO?

  • Send abusive messages or spam from your computer
  • Steal your passwords
  • Open web pages, and spread the creepware / spyware to others
  • Cause your computer to crash

HOW CAN YOU AVOID CREEPWARE?

  • Use an updated date antivirus / internet security software
  • Only download files from trusted sites
  • Don’t use “torrent” file sharing sites, like those that allow you to download free music or movies
  • Keep the shutter of your webcam covered if you aren’t using it, and beware of suspicious activity with your webcam
  • Backup your files online with a service like Carbonite (get offer codes) (coupon available)

It’s a good idea to have a comprehensive, 360 degree solution to viruses and trojans for your computer and devices. Because these creepy threats are always evolving, so is the software to protect against them. That’s why you should always make sure your software is updated regularly. Need an incentive? We have the latest coupon codes for Norton software, including Antivirus and Norton 360 on our site!

online shopping security tips

7 Online Shopping Tips From Norton: Avoid Viruses & Malware

Tips for Online Shopping: So, what can you do right now to stay safe online and avoid computer viruses and malware? Since the story broke about how up to 100 million people’s credit card information was stolen, there is renewed interest in online security. If it can happen to top retailers, surely we’re at risk too.

Here’s a video (under 2 minutes) with tips for not becoming a victim of viruses when you shop online;

Here’s what you can do to stay safe when shopping online:

  • norton secure sealFirst, make sure your web browser is up to date. Old browsers can be hacked into more easily, and aren’t up with the latest security threats
  • Watch the display URL in your browser; whenever you buy something online, you’ll want to see an https:// before the site name. This means that any info that you send will be encrypted before it’s sent because that site has an SSL certificate
  • A green bar on the web address means that the site has been verified to be safe; it may also accompany the “Norton Secured Seal” which shows you that Norton, the leading name in computer antivirus and security online, has verified the site

You don’t even need Norton software (click for a coupon for up to a $50 discount on Norton Security) or McAfee software (click for a 50% off coupon!) to have a fighting chance against viruses if you take precaution online. Also, remember to keep up with credit card and bank statements, as your first red flag may be unwanted charges.