When was the last time you made eye contact with a person walking along the street? Stop and think about it. I can wait.
Now, conjure up a mental image of strangers hustling and bustling along a busy sidewalk. The head is down. Ear buds are plugged in. There’s an i-something in their face or some other device clasped tightly in hand. Or, there is some random conversation taking place in thin air because of a Bluetooth device shoved firmly into the users ear canal. Now think about how many times you’ve bumped into them or they’ve bumped into you (accidentally of course) only to receive a half caveman-like grunt in response.
Did you make eye contact? Did you notice where their eyes were directed? On the device. On some random object in the distance because they are so focused on the conversation taking place in their ear. Sometimes the conversation is distracting itself but that’s for another blog for another day. Believe it or not, distraction makes it really easy for the user to unwittingly get into trouble. Why? Because they aren’t paying attention.
From online identity theft to counterfeit products, consumers may not even be aware they are being taken advantage of until they check their bank statement, or receive a product they thought was the real thing only to find it out it wasn’t. BBB® recommends several tips to protect from potential thieves who are looking for the perfect target who isn’t paying close attention.
Online identity theft is at a premium. Sometimes the mouse or hyperlink in an email gets clicked on an URL that wasn’t intended. It may redirect to a fake website or to a malware software that downloads to your device. If that happens – stop – do not enter any personal information! Someone is just waiting to nab your name, address, birth date and other vitals to create a whole new you without you realizing it. Or worse yet, your bank account is drained because thieves have gotten your account number and went on their own shopping spree.
Finally, you save and save and save for the authentic Gucci bag or high end tablet. Click! Done, bought it online for a really awesome price saving hundreds of dollars. Feels pretty good doesn’t it? Did you realize the website you bought it on was counterfeit? BBB recommends only looking for merchandisers you truly know and trust. Also, look for the padlock symbol in the URL as well as the ‘s’ in HTTP. Still not sure? Visit www.bbb.org and check out the Business Directory to be sure you’re visiting the real deal.
Oh and hey, if you happen to be walking on the sidewalk sometime, look up and make eye contact with another human being. It is amazing to see how many other people there are in the world beyond the electronic device in the palm of your hand.