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Christmas holidays: a cyber criminals’ winter wonderland

The Christmas holidays are finally here and everybody is looking forward to spending some time with family, however cyber criminals don’t rest.

Many of us are spending huge amounts of money online and in the rush to get bargains and last-minute deals, it is more likely for people to become vulnerable to the kinds of sophisticated attacks that are now becoming more common. While for most of the us Christmas period means relaxing, spending time with the family and enjoying seasonal sales, for threat actors Christmas represents a huge opportunity to steal sensitive information.

 

Looking for a sales bargain? Top tips for staying safe while shopping online

 

  • Due to the increased number of promotional emails, receipts and well-wishes, hackers will take advantage of the traffic jam to send convincing spam emails, potentially containing malware or attempting to trick you into parting with account details. Read our blog and discover how to spot phishing scams.

 

  • Public WiFi, available in large venues such as airports, train stations and hotels, are more likely to be an entry point for cyber criminals to access your devices. Avoid making payments or using your online banking account on these networks.

 

  • Logging in to different websites and apps by using social media account details can make life easy, by eliminating the need for you to set up a string of new accounts and passwords. However, there is no guarantee your personal information is handled securely without being exposed or used for marketing purposes. Do you know who Facebook shares your data with? We think it's best to use a unique login for every account - LastPass is a great tool to help remember and generate passwords for your accounts.

 

  • If you see an offer that looks too good to be true, check its authenticity because it could be fake. Check the website advertising the offer by typing the address manually into a browser’s search bar. Moreover, read reviews about the products and services you intend to buy. Not sure how to spot a malicious website? Head to our blog for tips.

 

  • Make sure your software is always updated, you use strong unique passwords for you online accounts, and to add extra protection you should turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) where available.

 

  • Card fraud is on the rise despite card payments being a safe and convenient way to pay for goods and services. During busy periods it is safer to use a credit card when shopping online. However, always keep an eye on your bank statement and report unusual transactions, even small amounts you don't recognise.

 

  • Web-skimming attacks (which swipe your card details when you pay for something online) are on the rise. Unfortunately, there’s no obvious hints that differentiates a website infected with Magecart from any other site. However, it is better to avoid unsecured small sites and use digital payment services such as Apple Pay or Google Pay to generate series of unique numbers for each transaction.

 

Cyber security hygiene matters year round and the Christmas period is a time to be extra vigilant. Prevention can reduce the risk of 2020 kicking off with a disruptive and expensive cyber security incident. So from the team at DynaRisk, we wish you the happiest of holiday's and a fantastic New Year!