With the buyout increase significantly during Christmas and New Year's Eve, cyber criminals find the right ground to carry out their attacks on unsuspecting users. Cybercrime tools and tricks are becoming more sophisticated, however, following ESET's tips, users can be confident that they will remain protected as they perform their online Christmas markets.
Look carefully before you buy
With good research, users can in principle ensure that they find the right product at the most advantageous price. At the same time, they also reduce the chance of falling into scammers with bogus websites and fake offers. If you are not sure that the site, online store or vendor is creditworthy, turn to a trusted search engine and use digital certificates or other authentication tools to check. If you buy from Amazon and EBay vendors, check their ratings and rating. Particular attention is paid to the bids we see in social media. Cyber criminals often use social media tools and cheat the victims with attractive offers in the form of a shortened URL that redirects the visitor to a malicious site to steal their data.
Protect your payments
Look for the padlock symbol in the URL bar and "s" at the end of http. These are the indications that the page is encrypted, so your information goes only to the provider and can not be intercepted in a man-in-the-middle attack - especially if you have forgotten Wi-Fi. Check if payment details are stored. There are sites asking if you want to save payment details while others are preventing you. As the site may be compromised, think carefully about wanting to store information like if you prefer to shop at home or prefer to receive at work, what is your ethnicity, etc. Regularly check your bank transactions, keeping in mind the small amounts of payments that are not easily detected or huge amounts of payments that could indicate that your credit card has been violated. Stop payments by credit card immediately if you see something suspicious.
You seem wary of the emails you are currently receiving
Frequently, cybercriminals use spam emails with wishes to incorporate malicious files or link. If the email does not convince you that it is trustworthy, delete it. If available, contact the sender using a more reliable way (e.g., phone). Another phenomenon is the emails with festive holidays for holiday packages. Often these are attempts to cheat on patrons, so it's good to check whether flights actually exist or that online agents are trustworthy. Beware of suspicious links about Christmas markets. Such a period is popular scams known as Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (BHSEO), which redirect to malicious websites searches made with keywords about shopping. Finally, an effective attack used by cyber criminals is that of emails that have a title related to purchase, shipping or payment details, aiming at a customer who is exhausted by Christmas shopping to succumb. These messages may contain an infected file or link, so, carefully and patiently, we do our research.
Shield your systems
First of all, secure your Wi-Fi, an action that does not usually take a lot of weight, but secure Wi-Fi is extremely important, especially in online shopping. Avoid free, open Wi-Fi hotspots and prefer the security of your home connection. Check for updates and patches that you need to install on your operating system. Finally, update the security software, or if you do not have it, make sure to install one. If you make purchases using Android devices, be sure to shield your device with an appropriate security solution.