Beware of Holiday Phishing Scams
(don’t get more than you’re shopping for)
Cybersecurity issues are at an all-time high in 2020, fueled by increased hacking and phishing activity. With physical distancing driving unprecedented business and shopping online in 2020, constant awareness of risks must be top of mind for everyone. We are seeing phishing incidents rise significantly, with attacks to steal personal information, capture network credentials and distribute malware. Adding to the landscape, bad actors are getting more sophisticated than ever in their tricks to get clicks – from social media and email to increased SMS attacks.
Beware of these phishing scams to watch out for this holiday season:
Email and SMS texting have both become second nature to life and business. They are also tools hackers use to breach network security strongholds. That’s why important to take an offensive stance in protecting your inbox and smart devices. Be on high alert to phishing scams during the holidays as spoofed messages increase.
Email phishing with fake order confirmations and shipping notifications. People are doing much more online shopping and shipping in 2020, and are more susceptible to clicking a link about a delivery status update or shipping delay. Even if the message looks valid, don’t click links. Instead, go to the site directly and enter the tracking number yourself.
SMS phishing. With people texting more, scammers are finding new ways to phish with SMS. Sending fake text messages designed to trick targets into clicking links to install malware or gain personal information helps scammers use or sell your info – like passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. Don’t engage with numbers you do not recognize. Better yet, block spammers immediately.
Phishing with digital holiday greetings. Holiday ecards can be extremely creative and a sustainable alternative to paper cards. Although a cute, animated greeting may look innocent, never click a link from an unknown source because attackers can mask their malicious intent behind holiday messages of goodwill.
It’s important to create and maintain good online habits, such as not opening attachments, being mindful of log-in prompts from links in email. And as a refresher, check out these additional tips for passwords safety and credit monitoring we shared last year.
Have a happy (and secure) holiday.