Everyone wants to slow down, take time, and relax over the holiday season. For most people, it’s a time of togetherness, magic, songs, great food, gifts, and celebration. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of the year when cybercrimes are the highest.
Cyber criminals aren’t interested in taking time off over the holidays. In fact, they see the time of year when people are preoccupied as the perfect time to get to work. From the end of November through the New Year, both individuals and companies are distracted. They have their guards down, which means cyber criminals have an easier time with successful strikes.
Understanding Holiday Cybercrimes
Protecting yourself and your business from cyber crimes over the holiday season is essential. By understanding why cybercrimes increase during that time of year, you’ll be better prepared to put your defenses up while you enjoy your holiday celebrations. Here are the reasons why cyber crimes peak over the holidays:
Holiday Shopping Scams
The holiday season sees loads of deals on shopping. There are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and many other deals leading up to Christmas. Most people take advantage of the sales during the holiday season and shop! However, this makes them more susceptible to shopping scams.
Cybercriminals use the guise of holiday shopping sales to send out phishing emails designed to steal information from their victims. These emails are often attractive and attention-grabbing, showcasing incredible deals that are hard to resist. The damage is done when the unsuspecting victims click on links in the emails and enter their information.
More people shop online during the holiday season than any other time of the year. Cyber criminals see this as an opportunity for multiple scams and cybercrimes, including using “sniffers.”
Sniffers are malicious scripts that are inserted in eCommerce payment platforms. The sniffers can extract credit card information from the platform when online shoppers make a purchase.
A common gift during the holidays, gift cards are the perfect way for cyber criminals to access personal and business information. By sending out fake gift cards, these criminals have a simple and effective way to get unsuspecting victims to click on their links and give up several private details.
Relaxed Cybersecurity Measures
Overall, most people tend to put their concerns with cyber security on the back burner in November, December, and January. Their focus is elsewhere as they take time away from work and prepare to celebrate with their loved ones. This is especially dangerous for businesses as they decrease their workload over the holiday season.
Preventing Holiday Cybercrimes
The last thing you want after a nice, relaxing holiday season is to learn that you or your business have become the victim of a cyber crime. Still, you don’t want to spend your holidays worrying about your cybersecurity measures. Instead, take the time to prepare before the holidays, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself all season long.
Before signing off for the holidays, ensure you have strong cybersecurity measures in place. You will also want to ensure that all employees are up-to-date on cybersecurity and that intentional practices are in place.
On the personal front, make sure you have multi-factor authentication turned on for all your accounts and credit cards. Don’t click any links coming from sources you don’t know, and make sure to verify any gift cards and deals you find in your emails before clicking or purchasing.
Overall, you can have a safe and secure holiday season. Just be diligent about security, avoid carelessness, and don’t let your guard down too much. Cyber criminals are lurking while you’re celebrating, so get ready ahead of time and then take a breath. Enjoy the holidays.
Contact us at MSG to discuss how we can assist your business in enjoying the benefits of our cyber security services so that your sensitive data can stay protected and secure, even during the holidays.