With New Year’s Eve approaching us, keen shopping lovers will be spending millions. According to a Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report, e-commerce for Americans has shot up to 18.8% when compared to last year’s record. Users will undoubtedly be using different devices, such as smartphones, laptops, or tablets, to access these online websites; yet, no system can offer secure online transactions or protection against cyber scams. This festive season, cyber attackers can allure you to compromise your full credit card number, Social Security Number (SSN), and other financial details, eventually getting their hands on your sensitive data. These details can be demanded while you are about to finish a purchase, or on a genuine seeming IRS message, or in some other sophisticated way. There are times when you don’t see these attacks coming at all!
This blog uncovers the common cyber scams that you or your loved ones may become a victim of.
Be Alarmed as These Common Cyber Scams are Trying to Get to You
Take the lead and don’t let the cybercriminals ruin your festive vibe. The listed scams are frequent ones and are sophisticated enough to go unnoticed.
1. Email Scams from Authorized Banks
As festive seasons are generally the expensive months of the year, receiving an email from your bank seems like a believable affair. Scammers use this opportunity to trick you into believing that they are representatives of an authorized bank, majorly the one you are associated with. These emails try to obtain your personal details.
No matter what, banks never ask for your details on emails or calls. If such issues concern you, the best option would be to call your bank authorities to confirm.
2. Public Wi-Fi Scams
Connecting your devices to the public Wi-Fi network can make your data vulnerable. If you are using a public network, access the websites using HTTPS protocol only. Also, keep a close eye on your private files and folders, ensuring that they remain private and can’t be shared with anyone on the network.
3. Fake Free Wi-Fi Offer
It is always recommended not to connect to a network that asks for your login credentials or some other sort of private details. There are public networks that claim to be free, but connecting to them may result in the compromise of personal data. If you have to enter your payment details at any point, or you are concerned that you might end up compromising your private data, it would be better not to connect your device with these networks.
4. Software, Plug-ins, or Other Fake Updates
With New Year’s Eve being around the corner, social media users will be sharing tons of online content with their loved ones. This offers an opportunity for cybercriminals to slip in their malicious content within the shareable piece. For instance, this malicious content could take the form of ‘Flash Player Update’ that you’ll need to access the video link that one of your loved ones have sent. Once you accept such a request, your system will get infected by malware, and it will spread through your other contacts, asking them to do the same.
5. Ransomware Attacks
Recent years have witnessed a spike in the frequency of ransomware attacks. Ransomware viruses attack through emails or downloads and hold the private data to demand a ransom. These attacks encrypt your files and folders, demanding a fixed ransom (mostly in cryptocurrency) in return for the release of the encrypted data. Avoid clicking on links that prompt you to download some sort of content or software.
6. Avoid Using Unsecured Websites
Sometimes websites ask for your personal details, including financial details, especially newly born e-commerce websites. If these websites are not using HTTPS protocol, do not enter your details. Probably, a cybercriminal has created such a website to entrap you. You can also look for a padlock symbol or change of color in your address bar; these factors ascertain that the website is secure to enter your details. If not, choose other sites to shop online.
7. Fake Websites Asking for Donations
Being a season of goodwill, perpetrators can pose as goodwill ambassadors asking for charity. They sometimes counterfeit websites or emails to lure victims by stating a genuine cause. These websites or emails may seem legitimate to you but donate directly to registered agencies.
8. Fake Virus Alert Pop-ups
While browsing through various websites, you might come across a page or a pop-up message claiming that your phone is detected with a virus presence. Its call-to-action would be to download a software program or an application. Never click a link whenever you are in doubt. It’s better to avoid such messages and go for authorized tools like a well-known anti-virus program that can lead you through the virus detection process.
Threat actors are aware that New Year’s Eve is the best time of the year when online shopping lovers are vulnerable to different forms of cyberattacks. They take this opportunity to put up traps that you will come across during your online activities. Train yourself with Certified Secure Computer User (C|SCU). The program helps you detect potential phishing scams and different types of cyberattacks. You will get to learn how you can protect your data against identity theft, credit card fraud, loss of sensitive data, and other cybersecurity challenges. The training program leaves no stone unturned to help you learn the necessary steps to mitigate different forms of cyber threats. For happy online shopping, join the program today!