christmas shoppingIt is precisely during the month of December the ideal time for cybersecurity companies to warn consumers about cyberattacks that occur when buying Christmas gifts. With the launch of this year’s Cyber Aware campaign, Palo Alto Networks has released a series of practical tips to stay safe when doing holiday shopping from work and home devices.
Cyberattacks on Christmas shopping
These are the precautions to take into account so as not to suffer a cyberattack this holiday season:Separate personal and work devices to protect yourself from ransomware. Ransomware remains a serious security threat. We see consumers who work from home and shop on their work devices being targeted by attackers. The attackers’ goal would be to compromise the consumer’s work device, break into the corporate network, and infect the organization with ransomware.Carefully examine email offers during the holidays to avoid phishing scams. The most common way for attackers to gain access to computers is through a phishing email. Even more than normal, during the holiday shopping season, consumers should be on the lookout for various phishing scams, such as fake delivery notices, fake order confirmations, and fake charities.
Four security tips to avoid cyberattacks when shopping online this Christmas
Double check domain names to ensure the intended website is visited. Cybersquatting is where cybercriminals register website domain names that appear to be related to an existing domain or brand, with the intention of profiting from consumer mistakes. The goal of squatting domains is to confuse consumers into believing that legitimate brands own these similar-looking domain names. Consumers should ensure that they spell domain names correctly and verify that domain owners are trustworthy before entering any site. Look for the lock symbol or the “https” in the browser.Monitor credit card statements to detect formjacking attacks. One of the main cyber fraud threats is formjacking, in which cybercriminals inject malicious software code into a web page used by a consumer to buy something or share personal information. This scam is designed to steal credit card and other personal information from payment forms captured on the “checkout” pages of shopping websites. In general, and not just in relation to formjacking, consumers should always use a credit card, or prepaid gift card, when shopping online. This ensures quick resolution if a cybercriminal gets hold of your card information and makes, or attempts to make, a purchase. With prepaid gift cards, in particular, you also limit the amount of money a cybercriminal has the potential to steal.