We know that the last thing you want is another item on your to-do list right before the holiday season, but that is precisely why we’re writing this post. Everyone knows that our stress levels go up during the holidays and our attention span is pulled in a million different directions. Although most people are sympathetic to this holiday state of being, some people will take advantage of your distracted holiday brain. What type of people would do that, you ask? Cybercriminals!
Phishing scams increase during the holidays
Cybercriminals will take advantage of the holiday season to try to slip in a few more phishing emails or scams. The holidays see a massive increase in online transactions, which is great news for hackers. As you go hunting for that perfect present for your loved ones, cybercriminals are hunting for the ideal opportunity to steal your private and personal data. They’re counting on you to be too distracted to tell the difference between the secure payment page, and the fake payment page that is set up by the hackers.
Holiday phishing scams
During the holidays, cybercriminals increase their phishing scams and other attacks because they know that you are too stressed to pay attention. Popular holiday cyber-scams are:
- Fake payment pages that look just like the real payment system you always see
- Fake retail websites of popular retail networks
- Fake retail stores with “unbelievable holiday discounts and specials”
- Fake Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials
Protect yourself from phishing and other scams
Be vigilant this holiday season. Shopping online has become easier than ever, but you need to double check where you are shopping and where you are giving up your banking and personal information.
- Trust your gut – Be wary of unsolicited, suspicious or unknown person/company enticing you with great deals and savings.
- Don’t trust pop-up ads.
- Double check the payment site – If something looks off, or unfamiliar don’t enter your payment information.
- Double check websites – Make sure that the website you are visiting is legitimate. If the URL looks odd, chances are it’s a fake set up by criminals to look like the original. If you go to a website and you are immediately redirected, red flags should go up!
- Get phishing protection – Firewalls, secure browsers, and anti-virus software can protect you from phishing and other cyberscams.
Talk to an IT expert at OnePointSync about protecting your data from phishing and other scams this holiday season and beyond.