Natural disasters are something that happen no matter what part of the globe you live on. You might not experience every type of natural disaster that is out there but there will be one or two that affect the area that you live in. If you live in warmer climates you might be affected by a hurricane. If you live in cooler climates you might affected by a blizzard that hits your town. And in some regions of the planet you might have a chance to get almost every type of disaster at any time. It is just the nature of how the world works and is something that you must be prepared for.
When a disaster hits, it is usually the time when people have compassion for each other and they want to help anyone who was hurt in any way during the event. You will see telethons on TV and special websites set up that will allow people to donate to them. That is just in most of our natures and it is one of the several good things about being human. But unfortunately everyone is not wired the same way and there are some people who will take advantage of a situation like that. These types of people truly lack the compassion for their fellow man and they will try their best to exploit the situation. This type of exploitation comes in many different forms. There are store owners who will hike up the price of their items so that people in need have to pay more. There are also people who will go to rob a house when the people who live there have evacuated to safety. And when it comes to the web there are people who will set up fake websites for the sole purpose of behaving like a fake charity and stealing people’s money.
Yes, that has been a real problem in the past. There have been plenty of times where people have set up fake websites and pretended as if they were a charity. As a matter of fact this happens at almost every disaster, especially the major ones. Even a couple of years ago when the big earthquake devastated Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, you saw a whole host of fake websites pop up pretending as if they were some type of charity. There are some people who are really low down and they will do whatever they can to make a dollar.
But fake charity websites is not the only thing that you have to worry about during a natural disaster. There are also people out there who will take advantage of the fact that people are looking for news about the event and are clicking on different news sources. There are black hat hackers out there that will set up fake links about the event that is going on which when clicked will infect your computer with some sort of malware. In essence they are using the disaster as a traffic source for their latest attack.
When you are surfing the web before, during, or after a major natural disaster you should always be careful when it comes to people who are trying to run scams at that time. Do not think that everyone is like you and they will all have compassion during that time. That is simply not true and you will have to keep your guard up like any other time you are on the internet.
photo: Brian R. Birke