During the holiday season we can expect to see a rise in cyber attacks. Online sales increase during this time making it a ripe environment for cyber criminals.
We can expect to see more phishing campaigns and malware infections. Crooks will target users by offering fake or non-existent goods or coupons. The lure to download a coupon for a popular brand may be enticing but is it coming from a reputable source? Is the deal too good to be true? It’s important to scrutinize any electronic communication you may receive.
Did you receive an unsolicited email with a link to a popular website? How do you know that the website is legitimate? Instead of clicking on the link in the email you should try going directly to the site by typing in the URL into the address bar of your browser. Are you able to find the same offer on the site?
If you are shopping via a mobile app it is important to download the app directly through the store’s website. You can also check the user reviews and download through Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
Limit the amount of money that could potentially be exposed by online shopping. Use a credit card with a low limit, use a gift card or third party service, such as PayPal. And NEVER store your credit card information on the store’s website.
In terms of malware, malicious code could be embedded in your device by clicking on a link, opening an attachment or downloading a file. This code could be silently stealing your payment information while making purchases.
Be vigilante during the holidays and throughout the year. Cyber crooks are always looking for the easy target. They want your information and if you are smart and follow some of these security best practices you can avoid being the victim.