Five tips for you how you can avoid some of the most common holiday scams.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—not only for those celebrating the holidays but also for hackers and email scammers.
Scammers and hackers are betting on the fact that their victims are so interested in finding that impossible-to-find gift or that unbelievable deal that they can take advantage of our distraction to rip us off. In fact, right this minute, they’re already planning how they can take advantage of the hustle and bustle to trick you into clicking a malicious link or installing malware that can access all your sensitive information.
The good news is that you don’t have to fall victim to their schemes! By following a few best practices, it’s relatively easy to avoid these cybersecurity traps and keep your season merry and bright. Here are five tips to help you avoid some of the most common holiday scams:
- Check email sender addresses closely before clicking on any links, watching for one letter differences or misspellings. Scammers may pose as your favorite stores or even your manager to get you to click a link or share personal information.
- Be wary of anything that’s too good to be true. Whether it’s an incredible Black Friday deal or what seems to be a holiday gift card from your employer, treat any email or text that includes unexpected or unbelievable offers with caution.
- Shop only at stores with which you’re already familiar, typing in the web address yourself rather than clicking through an ad or an email link, and check that the address includes https:// before entering any payment information.
- Be on the lookout for fake delivery notifications, and avoid clicking links, especially if it’s for a parcel that’s unfamiliar or that you’re not expecting. If possible, visit a carrier’s website and enter tracking details on your own.
- Proceed with caution when it comes to holiday communications like party invitations or greeting cards and avoid any that require you to click a link, create an account, or enter personal information in order to access the content.
- While following these tips can help to keep you safe, remember that cybercriminals are clever, and they’re doing everything they can to trick you into sharing sensitive information.
Wishing you a safe and hack-free holiday season!