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Cybersecurity expert reveals that googling these six phrases that could put you at risk

Cybersecurity expert reveals that googling these six phrases that could put you at risk

Use your judgement to spot the fakes.

Staying safe online is a matter of good judgement and not being so quick to trust everything you see.

Ben Van Pelt, founder and CEO of VPN company TorGuard, has identified certain phrases that can actually compromise your cybersecurity.

Here are six Google phrases Van Pelt urges people to take extra caution with when searching online:

Customer service numbers

Yes, something as simple as a helpline.

Scammers can impersonate legitimate companies. They purchase ads to appear first in Google search results, providing misleading links and phone numbers that connect to their fake company.

"They receive these calls, sometimes hundreds daily, and they convincingly mimic a technician," Van Pelt explained.

The tech expert advises skipping the ads and going directly to official company websites for their contact details.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

Easy loans

Scammers target individuals in financial distress with the promise of immediate, easy loans.

They usually ask for upfront fees and personal information in return for a promised loan that never arrives.

"Instead of turning to Google for financial aid, seek financial services from recognised banks and lenders," the CEO advised.

Get rich quick schemes

These often involve "investment opportunities" with high returns and little risk. But, there are typically pyramid schemes in disguise.

The cybersecurity expert encourages people to "always consult a reputable investment broker or financial advisor," to avoid falling victim to these schemes.

High-paying remote jobs

If a remote job offers an unusually high salary right, be cautious.

Such listings might be covers for illegal activities like money laundering or simply attempts to steal your personal or financial information.

"When searching for employment, stick to well-known job websites and the official career pages of reputable companies to minimise the risk of encountering scammers," Van Pelt said.

PUGUN SJ / Getty
PUGUN SJ / Getty

Free credit check

Whilst a free credit check sounds innocent enough, it involves a lot of personal data.

Fraudsters will ask everything from your date of birth to your social security number, which leaves you at risk of identity theft.

Van Pelt explains that you should avoid searching for a "free credit report" online to steer clear of potential scams and do your research before committing to a company.

Tech support

When consumers seek tech support, scammers might deceive them into allowing them remote access to your computer. Here, they can do anything from accessing personal information to installing malware and even using your financial details for bogus services.

The expert says to always use official tech support provided by your device's manufacturer or software provider.

Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / PUGUN SJ / Getty