After Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, customers are still looking to score discounts and offers this holiday shopping season. This means that several of us will be purchasing online to avoid busy mall traffic and large crowds. Though online shopping has made our lives all the way easier, but we can’t disallow the increase in sneaky online scams which has been tripled since 2016.
As cybercrimes are at an all-time peak, even if you are someone who doesn’t purchase goods and services online, anyone can still fall victim to a cybercrime. While no individual is immune to the damage these bad guys induce, but bare effective measures can aid you to obstruct those attacks.
So, before reaching to the holiday safety tips you should know what are the potential cyber threats that may harm you this season!
Sneaky Scams To Watch Out For This Holiday Season
So, for all those who are enjoying the sights, sound, and smell of shopping experience, keep in mind the following threat trends and holiday safety tips to protect yourself!
Fake Invoices and Receipts
With so many people doing shopping online, a rise of a number of receipts, order confirmation slips, and invoices are flooded in everyone’s inboxes. Be sure what you’re clicking and give a second thought whenever you’re opening an attached PDF or document, even it’s from a popular brand or authority.
Cyber criminals rely on victims’ trust in a particular brand or public authority to hand over information or allow their system to defile with malicious infections.
They trick users into thinking that they’ve successfully received a legitimate Gift Card, and once the user gets deceived and click on the malicious attachment or a link, either their device gets infected with malicious code or they end up compromising their personal information.
Be vigilant and don’t get inflamed with the fake Gift Card campaigns!
Is that an advertisement banner over there trying to hack you? Maybe that is something you’re looking for a long time? Or maybe it’s Malvertising. It means delivering malware threats via online ads. Bad guys particularly wait for this time (holiday season) to target users while shopping so that they accidentally or deliberately click on these online ads and end up losing their personal or financial details.
These attackers buy popular “ad spaces” on legit websites which are loaded with viruses, spyware and all kinds of cyber threats which probably you’d never heard of.
With the rise in credit card frauds, the notorious hackers have found several ways to beat the banking system and commit theft of e-money and frauds. So, always keep an eye on your bank accounts & keep a track of all your holiday season purchases.
And anytime you find any suspicious transaction has taken place through your account, report it to your bank immediately and don’t let yourself footing the bills for someone else’s shopping habits.
Fraudulent E-commerce Sites
Cyber criminals are great at faking websites. From your banking site to your favorite social networking site to one of your mostly operated shopping site, they can create a fake prototype of every website out there. Be alert and pay close attention to the domain names you visit and do vet your online retailers before you place an order from them.
Cyber criminals realize that holidays are very essential for online retailers, they understand that even a half hour of downtime can transform into millions in lost sales, hence they want to steal their piece of the pie as well as attacking customers to gain more share of profits.
Holiday Safety Tips To Avoid Online Scams
- As a consumer, the best defense to these type of cyber threats is a bit of vigilance and awareness. Listing down the best holiday safety tips to make your holidays threats-free.
- First and the foremost, don’t get fooled by the lure of discounts and free gifts.
- Watch out for fake receipts, order slips, and false shipping emails.
- Always think twice, no thrice before taping on any link or opening attachments. (Enough said!)
- Never share your User ID, password or other credentials.
- Use the latest and updated version of the browser every time you shop online, to avoid security loopholes.
- Use of a VPN service is always a great idea to avoid people tracking on you.
- Follow strong password practices on shopping sites.
- Make sure you take every advantage of credit card security features your bank provides.
- Stay off from Public Wi-Fi and free Internet.
- Avoid clicking ‘Remember’ box to save your debit/credit card information.
- Use different passwords for different online accounts.
- Don’t forget to review privacy policies for the website you’re visiting.
Read Also: Cyber Threats to Fear in 2018
Holidays are only about fun and family. But being vigilant when shopping online isn’t a bad idea either. Do keep an eye on the aforementioned cyber threats and follow all the holiday safety tips to enjoy the season of happiness threat-free.
Happy Shopping! 🙂