Security Issues: Holiday Shopping Online

Staying Safe While You Shop For The Holidays

With the holidays coming around the corner, lots of consumers are bound to make lots of purchases online. The unfortunate part about this is that cybercriminals will be ready to take advantage of all this activity to steal sensitive data from users. So let’s look at some scams that hackers like to use during the holiday season and how you can stay on guard while shopping.

A recent analysis showed that there was a 57.5% increase in attempted cyberattacks during the 2017 holiday season. One type of prevalent scam is fraudulent sites where users are offered fake promotions, discounts, or other deals. Once shoppers head to the checkout page, the attacker steals any personally-identifiable information they put into the form. This could include credit or debit card info, addresses, phone numbers and more.

01 Fake Sites

These sites can be tricky to spot because they often use logos and validation icons that make the site look secure but are really just non-clickable pictures.

02 Fake Sites

Shopping on mobile devices is becoming more popular as well. So another kind of attack to be aware of is fake retail apps, where again, users attempt to make purchases but are met with fraud or ransomware.

03 Fake Retail App

Now that you are aware of some of these new dangers, here are some steps to keep yourself safe.

  • First, always practice caution when interacting with deals and promos. If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
  • Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure connections, so make sure you avoid doing your online shopping in public places.
  • Avoid navigating to sites from links in emails, social media and advertisements.
  • Be sure not to perform any transactions over mobile apps either, to mitigate the risk of having your data stolen or device locked.
  • Lastly, you want to ensure the sites you visit are secure, so be wary of any suspicious URLs and shop only at established websites from brands you trust.

With that information, we hope you are better prepared to be on guard with online purchases. Stay safe out there and happy holidays!


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