November ends and, like every year, comes Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, … and so, our credit cards are on fire … and cyber attackers know it.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online purchases multiplied on these dates, and the trend is to maintain and grow.
Cybercriminals don’t live only on cheating individuals
On these season, online and transport businesses have their heyday and that makes them a target of cyber attackers who know that these are critical moments for them, in which any problem will cause them serious damage … and on top of that, employees are under pressure from so much activity.
Therefore, not only individuals must be alert and pay close attention to the web pages in which they buy and the messages they receive, but companies must remind their employees of the importance of cybersecurity and make sure that everything is ready (computer systems, procedures, awareness … and a good work environmet) so that attackers do not achieve their objective.
They should have their eyes wide open and pay attention to any details that may lead to suspicion of an attempted fraud or any type of deception.
You, yes you, online customer: don’t let them spoil the party
In this last month of the year there are many holidays and events that are accompanied by shopping and gifts. We are going to place a lot of orders and it will be normal for us to wait for communications from online stores, payment platforms, and shipping companies. And that the attackers know.
That is why they will try to deceive us by pretending to be legitimate companies so that we can give them our data or install malicious programs.
And they won’t just use email. We must also be careful with phone calls and SMS messages.
But let’s not forget that there are still attacks using other decoys that are in the spotlight, such as COVID and vaccines. Let us always be suspicious, carefully review any request and never give any type of information if we are not very clear about what we are doing.
Have we scared you? Well. Now you will be more alert and, paying attention, you can enjoy the holidays safer
To finish, we leave you with some basic recommendations to avoid problems while using our devices and browsing the internet these days (and the rest of the year) both at home and at work:
- Keep your devices updated and protected: the computer, always with antivirus.
- Access only trusted sites. Avoid links in emails if you are not sure where they came from and use your bookmarks whenever you can: confirm that the address you are accessing is well written and correct.
- Check that the web page where you enter your passwords or credit card details has a valid certificate to encrypt the communication (indicated with a padlock next to the page address).
- If it’s too good to be true, it most likely isn’t. Be wary of incredible offers, amazing gifts and other claims that you receive through email or messages.
- By default, never open attachments or follow links in emails if you are not completely sure of the origin of the message. Online stores always have a customer section where you can see incidents, track your orders, view invoices, etc. Whenever you receive an email of this type, it is better to access the mobile application if you have it installed or the official website.
- Always check the sender’s address. Is what comes after the @ sign correct? For example, firstname.lastname@example.org may be a valid sender, but your_store@amazon_sales.com is not.
- If an email is really addressed to you, they will call you by name. If the email is written for “Client”, “User” or “Friend”, it is because they do not know you. Ignore them.
- Always be suspicious of chain messages. They rarely have a legitimate origin. If you are interested in knowing if what they say is true, find out in trusted channels (press, specialized blogs, etc.)
Enjoy one more year of these holidays and a safe shopping.