During the Christmas period, Britons could have lost hundreds of pounds through online scams–and are set to be hit by even more attacks by the presents they managed to buy.
This is the warning from cyber security experts who see Christmas as one of the most risky times of the year, with the rush to find deals and last-minute deals that lead to malicious websites for people.
During the Christmas period, tens of billions of pounds were spent online, but despite the growth of internet shopping, many customers still run the risk of buying unidentified and often unsafe websites. According to the cyber security firm McAfee, Brits–who will spend nearly £ 25 billion over the Christmas period–are at risk of £ 725 being stolen from their accounts? Scams from such websites are often so important that people can cancel Christmas, but buyers are often tempted to save money.
“The festive season can be a very busy and costly time of year, with plenty to organize in time for 25 December, ” said Raj Samani, chief scientist and fellow of McAfee. ” Online shopping is often a faster and cheaper way to buy Christmas presents and other festive items.
“Picture gadgets and tech news Show all 42 ” It is understandable that people often want to cut the corners with so much. With this additional stress, however, people regularly adopt a more relaxed approach to their digital security, which can lead to potentially risky and costly consequences.
“Such scams usually come with an email promising a deal that is too good to be true, complete with a link to click and purchase the product. However, by clicking on this link, users go to a version of the website that looks identical to the real version, but is actually a clone that takes the money of users and leaves them without the products on which they can depend for Christmas. Read more Japan’s cybersecurity minister admits that he never used a computer. Other scams may not contain a link, but rather software that can load hoax deals on otherwise legitimate websites. They are often incredibly complex and credible; leading to the attacks of even the most frequently used Internet users.
“If something looks too good to be true, just be a little suspicious, ” said David Emm, Kaspersky Lab’s chief security researcher. ” Obviously, at this time of year there are great deals and scammers can link their offers to just below. “The most common piece of advice that cyber security experts give is a simple but slightly laborious one: instead of clicking on any link that arrives in your email inbox, via a Facebook post or other messaging platform, please type the address in yourself. In this way, the address is definitely correct and a hacker cannot cleverly disguise the URL so that it looks like the legitimate website.
In the event of deals that cannot be found on the website or are suspicious, cyber security experts advise you to contact the company directly to check if the offer is legitimate. They also advise that people do not use unprotected WiFi to automatically connect to your phone if you are out and browsing in public. While it may be a useful way to get online and shop at Christmas, such links can be intercepted and personal information can be robbed and sold on–causing pain that lasts long before Christmas, as details are distributed on the web.
Even the fact that you are away during the holiday season is a risk, the cybersecurity company Proofpoint warned. Setting a response out of office can be an important signal for criminals, warned its product marketing director Mark Guntrip, suggesting that it may be safer not to set one, but to directly tell anyone who needs to know about your break, or to make sure it is deliberately vague. New Alexa – powered cooker and wall clock revealed that even as the hustle and bustle of festive purchasing subsidies continues to represent a danger that could last a long time.
Many of these gifts–including children’s toys–are a shockingly easy way for hackers to break into people’s homes and can therefore be used much further down the line for scams and attacks. “The Internet of Things is a big thing this Christmas: people hook up their homes on the web, add security systems, baby monitors, plug sockets and children’s toys, ” says Malwarebytes analyst Christopher Boyd. “And one thing we find a lot of time is that these toys aren’t really safe. ”
A popular baby monitor, for example, has a 123 default password. Since many people will not change this, especially in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, hackers can simply search for these newly connected devices and find a way into their homes.
Similarly, children’s toys now often have privacy policies that are at ” a university level of reading and couched in a legal mubo jumbo, ” warns Boyd, which means that it is difficult to understand even if children or parents manage to look at the packages. ” It’s pretty hard to find out where the data goes, what they’re doing with it, “he warns, and whether it’s surely stored.