Cyber Attacks are More Frequent During the Holiday Season: CISA
The holiday season is always accompanied by deals, discounts, special offers and countless shopping. This presents an opportunity to the hackers, scammers and fraudsters for malicious scamming and hacking. This year, there was a 19.7% increase in spending on Cyber Monday to $9.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.
As the number of spending increases, an increased number of phishing scams present a huge vulnerability to identity theft, false purchasing and misplaced donations. This is why warnings have been given by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of Homeland Security.
CISA warns the public of potential holiday scams and cyber campaigns, especially when it comes to browsing or shopping online. According to the update, the holidays frequently see an increase in cybercrime and scams. CSA recommends starting with these three simple steps to keep yourself safe:
- Check your devices – Before starting the hunt for the best deal, make sure your devices are up-to-date and your accounts have strong passwords. Once you’ve purchased an internet-connected device or toy, change the default password and check the devices’ privacy and security settings to make sure you’re not sharing more information than you want.
It’s #CyberMonday ? Remember, while you’re searching for the best deals online, hackers, scammers, and online thieves are waiting to take advantage. Always make sure your devices are up-to-date, shop through trusted sources, and use safe methods for purchases. pic.twitter.com/nZdNr4Ngue
— Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (@CISAgov) December 2, 2019
- Shop through trusted retailers – Before making a purchase and providing any personal or financial information, make sure you’re using a reputable, established vendor.
When shopping online this #holidayseason, make sure your information is being encrypted. Indications that your information will be encrypted include a URL that begins with “https:” instead of “http:” and a padlock icon. If the padlock is closed, the information is encrypted. pic.twitter.com/xUNqK590hu
— Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (@CISAgov) December 6, 2019
- Using safe methods for purchases – If you can, use a credit card as opposed to a debit card as credit cards often have better fraud protection.
The agency plans to share additional resources and safety information over the course of the next month in order to keep consumers safe during the holiday season. According to CISA director, Christopher Krebs,
“The good news is you don’t need to be a cybersecurity pro to defend yourself. It’s often the simple things that make a big difference in protecting yourself and your family from cyber threats and scams.”
For more information about shopping online safely this holiday season, visit www.CISA.gov/shop-safely.