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'Tis the Season for Vigilance:

Safeguarding Against Holiday Spam and Scams

During the holiday season, cybercriminals are intensifying their efforts to launch spam and scam campaigns through various channels, with email and third-party sites being the most prevalent.

As consumers embark on holiday shopping, the allure of online deals and discounts becomes pervasive, providing an opportunity for malicious actors to exploit unsuspecting shoppers alongside legitimate organizations seeking to attract customers.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas mark periods when spam and cyber scams proliferate. 

Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, the influx of sales ads exposes buyers to a surge in worldwide fraud attempts, escalating by 82%. These occasions serve as prime opportunities for cybercriminals to prey on consumers, inflicting financial and psychological harm.

Factors Contributing to Holiday Spam and Scams

Understanding why holiday-related spam and email-based phishing scams escalate at year-end offers insights into the phenomenon:

Increased Online Activity: 

The quest for attractive offers while shopping for loved ones often leads individuals to encounter numerous emails. Amid the deluge of holiday messages, people may overlook the legitimacy of senders and content, inadvertently clicking on infected attachments or links.

Bargain Hunting in Inflationary Times:

 Elevated inflation prompts bargain-hunting behaviors, with individuals willing to take risks to secure discounts. Studies indicate that 77% of Americans are prepared to take any action to cut costs during the holiday season, increasing the susceptibility to scams as personal security takes a backseat to the pursuit of savings.

Reduced Vigilance amid Year-End Rush: 

The year-end rush, marked by increased work and personal responsibilities, creates a conducive environment for scammers. Impersonation of well-known corporations further facilitates socially engineered attacks, catching individuals off guard.

Mitigating the Risk of Spam and Scams

Socially engineered scams during the holidays often involve requests for monetary or gift donations to charities, sent via email or text message.

Scammers exploit the generosity of those inclined to donate during the festive season. Smishing attacks, where fraudsters impersonate shipping services like USPS or UPS, claiming delivery issues, also proliferate.
Exercise Caution When Shopping Online: 

Be vigilant when using platforms like Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, and Craigslist. Look out for red flags such as upfront payment demands, suspicious seller profiles, and requests to communicate through alternate platforms. Opt for official retailer websites to minimize the risk of scams.

Use a Secure Connection and Payment Method: 

Ensure a secure Wi-Fi connection and look for “https://” in the website URL, indicating encryption. Avoid public Wi-Fi when shopping online and use secure payment methods to safeguard financial transactions.

Avoid Providing Personal Information to Unknown Sources: 

Refrain from entering sensitive information on multiple sites, including your name, address, phone number, or credit card details. Adhering to this practice is crucial for preventing unsolicited spam messages and safeguarding your identity.

May your holidays be free from the disruptions caused by cyber grinches!

Concerned about online threats during this festive season? Contact us now for robust cybersecurity solutions that safeguard your digital presence. Don’t let cyber grinches ruin your holidays – ensure a safe and secure online experience.