It’s already Christmas, Yay!, which means it’s time for shopping and travel. But unlike any other year, this year is going to be different. As 2020 approaches to an end, many of us are looking to celebrate by planning to buy gifts for our near and dear ones.

While more than 124 million consumers shopped in-store during the 2019  holiday shopping weekend, findings from McAfee’s 2020 Holiday Season: State of Today’s Digital e-Shopper survey revealed that consumers plan to do more shopping online – and earlier – this holiday season.

As we gear up to spend online, hackers will take advantage of this situation. So here are some tips to keep you digitally safe this festive period.

  1. Malicious sale pop up’s:

We usually receive lot of discount offers via emails and SMS, but during the festive season they appear online as sale pop- up. Hackers have been known to take advantage of this by mimicking similar offers on emails and websites. So, be extra cautious while clicking on such pop up’s, we suggest to type the retailer’s website address rather than clicking on the pop up

  1. Gift card offers:

Stay alert when you get offers which advertise FREE GIFT CARD” from retailers like Flipkart, Amazon.

Nothing is free, and this could easily be a cybercriminals way to trick you into revealing personal information or downloading malware on your device. Avoid clicking on any links in an email or on SMS messages.

Make sure to check the legitimacy of the link by seeing if the link has an https:// on it.

  1. Be aware of seasonal scams

Did you know 36% individuals are planning to increase their online shopping due to the pandemic? Cybercriminals have grabbed this opportunity to send out fake emails in the form of invoices, free delivery, missed delivery notices to create a sense of urgency. If you receive anything like this, wait and think if you have actually ordered anything from any of the services. If you have, check the email carefully by paying close attention to the retailer’s name, shipping address, and any other details that confirm its legitimacy. But most importantly, always be cautious before clicking on anything.

  1. Be a smart charitable person:

Because of this pandemic there are lot of people around the world who needs your help. It’s always a good to do something for the society. But the cybercriminals have not spared the charitable trust also. There are many fake online ads, messages on social platform which indicate need for help.

If you want to make a donation this festive season or throughout the year, remember to choose a trusted charitable organisation. Don’t entertain random requests.. If the request is coming from a known person, contact them before you make any payment.

  1. Use secure video conference to connect with family and friends

As social distancing continues, don’t let your festive cheer disappear. You can still connect with your near and dear ones through video. But remember to use a trusted video conferencing provider. There are lots of websites requesting permission from your browser to access your camera and microphone, be careful what you give permission to

  1. A unique password for a unique account

Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At minimum separate your regular account (Salary account, business account) and the one you use for shopping.

  1. Monitor Activity regularly

Another tip for monitoring activity is to set up alerts so that if your credit card is used, you will receive an email or text message with the transaction details.

We know that this year has been hard, and with the festive spirit around us, don’t let your celebrations be ruined by cyber-attacks. Remember these simple steps for a happy and safe festive holiday. Siccura Cyber Academy Siccura Cyber Academy is a fun, interactive cyber security awareness programme that teaches the entire family to be cyber smart individuals. The interactive programme teaches you and your family how to spot signs of Scams, Phishing attacks, Malware attacks and more so you can continue to use online services with confidence.

Contact us today to find out more.