The quick rise of the use of the Internet for people to go shopping has been staggering.
For years people were afraid to place their credit card online since they were confronted with so many horror stories of shoppers being ripped off, while they watched the nightly news.
Now that the Internet has been in the majority of peoples homes for close to a decade, there is a new comfortable feeling with expanding the use of it.
People have educated themselves on how to conduct their online purchases and what common scams to look out for.
That is a good thing but there are some stories that do not get emphasized enough.
One story that seems to get downplayed is that on the holidays criminals tend to ratchet up their activities.
They pull out all of the stops in their scams.
They know that at this time of year there will be a lot of targets online so they attempt to fool as many of them as they can.
Holiday Scams To Watch Out For – Ecards
Here are some tricks that the bad guys will pull especially during the holidays.
The use of a digital e-card as an attack vector really increases during the holidays.
More and more people are using these types of cards to send their holiday greetings to people that they know.
Since the holidays are such a busy time, this is a great time-saver.
It is a great item to give to people, especially if they are just casual acquaintances.
It lets them know that you are thinking about them without taking the time to go to the store and then filling out hundreds of cards.
The bad guys know this and they will attempt to get you to spread their malicious malware to your friends using this information.
When you are using an e-card, make sure that it is from a trusted site.
If you are receiving an e-card, make sure that you scan it first.
Also contact the person that sent it to you – this allows you to make sure that they really sent it.
Holiday Scams To Watch Out For – Review Sites
Another method of attack that will increase during the holidays is Hackers using fake review sites to spread malware.
During this time of year, many more people using web sites to get reviews on products so hackers will set up review sites earlier in the year, keep it legit, and then when the holidays come around, load it with malware for their visitors to receive.
This can confuse people, since there is a good chance that they have been to the site before to look at reviews of similar products.
If you have an updated browser and an updated antivirus program running, you should be protected from most attacks of this kind.
Even if a site seems legit, during this time of year make sure that you keep your guard up.
Holiday Scams To Watch Out For – Your Kids!
Our final method of attack that will be on the increase during the holidays are hackers using your child’s Internet activity to attack your computer.
You will have to be careful and make sure that you monitor your children, especially those in the 8 – 12 year old range.
Hackers know that kids will click on just about anything, so they will hide a lot of their malware in kid’s sites and games.
Kids will become excited by the sight of Santa Claus and other holiday figures and will want to interact with them.
They may seem innocent but they will cause just as much damage to your computer as if they were from an adult site.
Educate your kids on what to click on and make sure that the sites that they are allowed to visit are limited.
Also look to invest in software that is made especially for the protection of kids on the Internet, or get them their own kids browser.
I have gone over several ways that hackers might try to attack you during the holiday season.
Make sure that you protect yourself by updating all of the security software that you have on your computer.
Also be careful of new sites that are just popping up around this time.