Don’t Get Snowed by Cybercriminals

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Black Friday is a huge day for anyone looking to take advantage of a great deal and retailers strive to see their products fly off their physical and virtual shelves by putting out unbelievable offers… offers too good to be true and sadly… they often are. Because, where e-commerce goes, e-criminals follow. With attacks becoming more sophisticated in their techniques to steal information, money, and goods, buyers need to be extra vigilant when looking for the latest deals online. 

The Federal Trade Commission has identified online shopping scams as the number one category of COVID-19 related complaints. How might these digital-age grinches turn your online holiday shopping spree from a joyous pastime to a ho-ho-horror show? Let us count the ways.

Source: Check Point

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Specials

Remember that when a “special offer” sounds too good to be true, it usually is. It is crucial to not click on links in emails or popups with unusually deep discount offers. 

Complimentary Gift Cards and Vouchers

A popular holiday is significant discounts on gift cards. Don’t fall for offers from retailers and/or social media promotions that offer bogus gift cards paired with special promotions or contests.

Charity Trickers

The holidays are traditionally a season for giving. Sadly, it’s also the chance for cybercriminals to try to pry money out of people with good intentions. We recommend you donate to charities you already know.

Fake Mobile Apps

Apps can sometimes bypass controls built-in by the app store. Be wary of apps from unknown developers or those with limited/bad reviews. The best practice is to use ones you know and trust!

Bogus Shopping Notices

Be wary of hoax emails from Amazon or a shipping carrier in your inbox that claims your package has encountered a problem and/or could not be delivered. These are called phishing attacks that tempt you to click on a link or open an attachment.


1) Keep all your devices up to date with basic security measures to reduce your possibility of becoming prey to cyber predators.

2) Be sure to only connect to known Wi-Fi networks and beware of network names with typos or extra characters.

3) Use strong, unique passwords on all accounts. Now is an excellent time to update passwords!

4) Keep an eye on your bank accounts and watch your credit report routinely.

5) Be careful with messages concerning shipping changes. Always use official channels to stay updated.

6) Watch out for holiday greeting cards that may not be from the sender you think! Don’t open these unless you’re confident you can trust who they came from.

7) Keep devices in view (or know where they are) throughout all holiday travel.

8) Pay close attention to websites you visit and shop on. It’s safest only to use those you trust.

9) Be wary of ads, giveaways, and contests that seem too good to be true. These run rampant during the holiday season!

10) Be safe on social media; don’t overshare, and take extra care to review your privacy and security settings on the platforms you use.

There are sure to be some amazing deals on Black Friday, and it’s normal to want to nab a deal, but practice caution to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Tactics such as anti-phishing, security training, dark web monitoring, and email security tools are all available to help reduce your risk. If you’re interested in learning more about ways you can protect your data, contact us to find a solution that works for your business.

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