Spam calls, texts, and emails are the bane of many a person’s existences. Even if you’re diligent when it comes to screening unrecognized communications, these unwanted, and often times malicious, contacts can still pose a threat. Read on to learn exactly why you should defend yourself against spam.
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1. Spam Can Lead to Identity Theft
A breach of personal information is a significant concern for many people and is often the topic of warnings about spam calls. Cybercriminals can use your personal information to open fraudulent accounts or steal your money. Even more frightening, one could use the information to steal your identity altogether.
If your data is sold on the black market, and it often is, other criminals are then able to use it against you in a variety of unwanted ways. They may use it to assume your identity, target you for future attacks, open a bank account, or conduct illegal business.
While you can use a tool like spam blocker to protect yourself, compelling methods like using a throwaway email address and blocking your actual email address on public websites can make it harder for scammers to find you online.
2. Spam Can Infect Your Device with Malware
Infected spam calls can also come with malware attached to them. They can use the software they send you to infect your computer, phone, or tablet with a virus or malware. If you aren’t very careful about what you click on, they could use it to take over your device and harm it in ways that make it unusable.
Malware that attaches itself to your device means once it is removed, there will be viruses or other types of malicious software left behind for you to deal with.
It could also mean severe financial damage if the malware is designed to steal your personal information from the device and send it back to cyber criminals.
3. Spam Can Be Used to Track You
Spam calls aren’t just annoying. They are also dangerous, especially with malware attached to them. Malware can be used to trace the device that you use when you click on it. It could be your computer, your phone, or even a tablet.
Once the malware is used to track you, it’s used to find your location, record what you are doing, and even steal personal information from the device you use to access the Internet.
Even if you only clicked on one spam call and didn’t download any malware, cybercriminals could still be tracking your movements online because of something else, like a site or app you used earlier in the day.
They can even listen to you via an Internet-connected device if they know your location and have the correct permissions or passwords. If you check in somewhere online, such as with a social network or sharing site, they could also use that information to track you.
4. Spam Can Be Used in Phishing
Even if your information isn’t stolen from a spam call with malware attached to it, some people will use the calls to get your personal information. It’s common for scammers who successfully trick people into giving them their personal information to use it for phishing attacks.
A phishing scam is an attempt to get your personal information. These attacks take many forms, such as emails that look like they come from a bank but come from a cyber criminal trying to steal your password, login information, and other sensitive data.
While you can quickly delete spam calls from a phone, you have to be much more careful with email. Some people even click on attachments included in emails because they are so used to deleting spam calls and ignoring the occasional junk email message that comes their way.
Spam calls can pose a significant risk to your device and your privacy. You should beware of these possibilities and be extra cautious before responding to any unknown sender.
You can start by blocking spam calls and removing any traces of them from your device, thus making it harder for spam callers to find you again. By being aware of the dangers of spam and remaining diligent in your efforts to defend yourself against it, you are much less likely to become a victim.