Cybersecurity: Holiday Online Safety

Cybersecurity: Holiday Online Safety

The holidays are just around the corner, which means lots of consumers will make purchases online. Cybercriminals will take advantage of all this activity to steal sensitive information from users. In this article, we’ll look at some scams hackers like to use during the holiday shopping season and how you can avoid them. 

 During the 2017 holiday season, there was a 57.5% increase in attempts at cyberattacks( According to ZDNET). A common scam is that users are offered fake promotions, discounts, or other deals on fraudulent websites. As soon as shoppers reach the checkout page, the attacker steals any personally identifiable information they enter. The information could include credit or debit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and more. 

Many of these sites use logos and validation icons that make the site appear secure but are merely non-clickable pictures. 

Mobile shopping is also becoming more popular. Another type of attack to be aware of is fake retail apps, in which users attempt to make purchases but are confronted with fraud or ransomware. 

Here are some safety tips now that you are aware of some of these new risks. 

  1. Always be cautious when interacting with deals and promotions. Don’t believe everything you read. 
  2. Don’t do your online shopping while connected to a public Wi-Fi network, which isn’t secure. 
  3. Avoid clicking on links in emails, social media, and advertisements. 
  4. To mitigate the risk of having your data stolen or your device locked, make sure not to perform any transactions over mobile apps either. 
  5. Lastly, you want to make sure the sites you visit are secure, so avoid suspicious URLs and shop only at established websites from trusted brands. 

Now that you have this information, we hope you will be more vigilant with your online purchases!