While the holidays are a time for family and celebrating, that does not mean that scammers won’t try to spoil all that holiday cheer! With each year, the threats online have only increased, and it has become such a large issue for unsuspecting consumers that the US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a statement, asking consumers to be more aware of their online surroundings; “…[CISA] encourages users to be aware of potential holiday scams and malicious cyber campaigns, particularly when browsing or shopping online,” said CISA. Therefore, making sure you are knowledgeable in simple cybersecurity tactics can ensure that scammers and other malicious online threats cannot steal your holiday cheer!
The Scammer’s Holiday
Christmas time is fun for everyone, including the criminals, unfortunately. BleepingComputer reported on a scam last year that targeted Amazon shoppers! This online scam was designed to appear to be an Order Confirmation email telling the recipient that their order had shipped and to click for more details regarding the order
If the recipient clicked “Order Details” a Word document would be downloaded, asking the user to “Enable Content”.
If done, the document would execute code that would keylog and steal anything the user typed, stealing personal information! Making sure you are aware of your online surroundings is vital to making sure your personal information is not leaked online or stolen!
Protecting Yourself Online
The holiday season is the perfect time for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Many people who shop online are unaware of the risks and are unaware of the signs of a trap. Here are some helpful tips from CISA to make sure you stay safe online:
- Avoid clicking on suspicious emails and email attachments ( Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams).
- Use caution when shopping online (Shopping Safely Online).
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
While each of these helpful tips are from CISA, if that is not enough to make you believe, Hammett Technologies also fully endorses each of these statements! Criminals will do whatever they can to steal your personal information over the holiday season. Therefore, remaining aware and cautious while you shop online will not only save you a lot of stress, it will save your money too!
If you have any questions regarding anything above, please feel free to give us a call, or visit the What We Do page to learn more! We are happy to assist you, or your company, with all your cybersecurity needs!