The Christmas holiday is approaching fast; both individuals and corporations wind up and head off for a relaxed end of the year. However, one group is starting to take the pace, ready to work, and use what they can give over the holidays. Cybercriminals from all around the world brace themselves for the steep uptake of internet purchases and the security laxity of corporations in the course of Christmas.Essentially, the Christmas period is a "feast for threat actors", according to security experts.
IBM reported that mobile device transactions account for 16.5% of all internet sales improved dramatically. Almost 30% of online seasonal shopping consists of smartphone traffic. The protection drawback is that cyber attackers create more malware applications or reinforce phishing efforts through smartphone and social networking channels. The sites deliver an increasing range of online retail services, and IBM expects a major uptick in cybercrime, intertwined primarily with data scams and identity theft.
Cybercriminals consider the holidays to be a good time to target their activities. It is important for internet users to understand the risks associated with online shopping and to discourage activities that could expose fraud to them.
Risk during the Christmas Holidays
There are environmental factors during the holidays that could further expose Internet users to the risk of cybercrime.
· Smishing messages direct the victims to access a site or call a phone number to provide confidential details, such as information on the credit card or the credentials of the bank. This category of scam involves fraudulent shipping alerts. Cybercriminals do this to send misleading messages to clients about their shipments' status. These messages usually involve a malicious link or malware. In the holiday season, internet users place several orders online, and they are very likely to receive delivery updates. This is why, especially during the holidays, this attack scheme is highly efficient.
· For hackers, Wi-Fi hotspots are dangerous hunting grounds. Once they are linked to dangerous networks, consumers are not aware of the threats they are vulnerable to. That data gives an idea of the exposure users have on insecure Wi-Fi, but what is really important is that more than a third of them do not take any protective steps and have poor habits during navigation (e.g. sharing passwords, not logging off after having used a public WI-FI connection). Nearly any hotspot with Wi-Fi is insecure.
How to stay safe online during the holidays
These are a few tips to improve the protection of the online experience for users, particularly while shopping on holiday.
· Don't download applications from unrecognized sources on your mobile device. Always use official app stores such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store. Malware could be served by malicious software, and cybercriminals could use it to extract personal data, bank account information, and disrupt your holiday shopping. Applications must have only compulsory approvals to be careful of "permissions" given to any program that you run on your device. Always check the reputation of the app, looking for a secure device for your online shopping.
· Use a secure and trusted VPN service to keep your online security intact. VPN not only help you encrypt your data and transmit it safely but it also help you to stay anonymous all the time.