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Assistive Technology

  1. Franzlife VIP
  2. Assistive Technology
  3. Monday, 24 July 2023

Hello dear community

Lately, fake news, spam and fraudulent attempts with emails and fake profiles on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Co. are increasing.

As a former systems analyst and computer scientist, I've also fought cybercrime, and with my expertise, I'd like to give you a few tips along the way.

Tip No. 1: What should you do if you receive unexpected, but quite serious seeming e-mails, such as supposedly from your own bank, the post office or well-known companies, etc.?

* Then you should not always trust immediately and certainly not if links are linked where one should supposedly make an "IMPORTANT CHANGE".
* Furthermore, neither the bank nor any company may ever ask for concrete data such as passwords and the like. If you click on a link in the mail and are asked to enter any data there, then it is most likely a fraud attempt (so-called phishing).
* What can you do? Before you click on a link in the mail, you should check the e-mail address of the sender. Let's take Swisscom as an example as the (alleged) sender. In order to determine whether the mail is really from Swisscom, you must carefully check whether the provider - that is the part after the @ sign in the e-mail address - is spelled correctly. In our example this means: Only "" is the correct domain (any name can be used before the @ sign, but after the @ sign the domain name must be exactly right). The Swisscom provider is unique, no one can clone something like that, but someone can change the name "Swisscom" just very slightly and thus he has a seemingly real account to scam people. Real address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Fake address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - as you notice, there is a letter missing in the domain here. So anything that is not the 100% correct name of the domain is a fake email.

Tip #2: What should you do if a well-known name or someone you supposedly know sends you a friend request?

Then, the best thing to do before accepting the friend request is to write him a message via Messenger and ask, so for example, "Hello, thank you for your friend request. To ensure your safety and mine, can you tell me how we know each other?" If the answer is coherent and reveals details that only the known person could know, then the request is most likely genuine.

If a supposedly famous page - for example, as has happened recently, the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation - sends a friend request or a follow request on Instagram, etc., don't accept it right away, but first go to the organization's or company's website. There - usually at the bottom of the page - are buttons with all the social media channels you can follow. If you want to follow, it's best to do it via these buttons. If you don't find any buttons on the company's website, you can contact them directly. This way you will avoid falling for a fake profile of the company.

What are scammers after in the first place? For one thing, the more data they have about you - i.e. your photos, place of residence, living situation, phone numbers, interests, etc. - the more accurately they can create a data profile of you and sell it to call centers, for example. Phishing with fake e-mails is particularly dangerous: If you click on a link in the e-mail and then enter your account data on a page, for example, the scammers can empty your account. You should not even open links in e-mails from unknown persons or fake accounts (see tip no. 1 above), because this can already lead to a virus being loaded onto your device.

Therefore, an additional tip: Always make sure that you post as few private photos and personal data on social media as possible. You should also define in your account settings that only your friends are allowed to see your content.

The digital world has many advantages, but also many disadvantages. It has become difficult to distinguish what is true or fake. Since I care about the community and the people here, I offer my time if you are unsure or have questions about a possible fake profile or fake news and the like. You are welcome to write to me and ask, I will do my best to provide some security in the fight against cybercrime, fakes and spam.

Kind regards

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