2020 is almost done and we are into the holiday season. The holiday is a season that allows us to spend time with our family and do some shopping as well. Thanksgiving is coming along with the biggest holiday sale of the year with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As good as any other year it will give us a massive discount and find great sales however, it is also important to be cautious about "Too good to be true deals". Many blackhat hackers make use of the consumer's excitement on these big holidays each year. They sell goods that will never arrive, steal your personal information, and take advantage of you if you are not careful.
Online Black Friday sale during the pandemic
During the normal days "Black Friday" means shopping in town, full pack malls, best buys, and retail stores. It means getting the first in line to buy the biggest tv screen at a super discounted price. Now, with the Covid still out there, shopping now switches to online, removing the old and traditional challenges that we deal with during Black Friday.
Shoppers finding presents for family and loved ones must now think about cyber attacks. Every day in November, with the coronavirus setting new infection rates, more and more companies are turning to online marketplaces. Hackers use these patterns to make our online shopping experiences more dangerous and intimidating.
Around this time of year, cybersecurity experts are frequently asked, "What should I be doing?" “. The sad fact is that the same scams used during the year are Black Friday scams. Any other day of the year, you're just as much at risk, and you must learn the skills to defend yourself. That is the good news here. On Black Friday, something you do to improve your cybersecurity safety is worth doing all the time.
Black Friday deals are always competitive and that's why we always find ourselves trusting new merchants with their "too good to be true deals" though we never heard about them before.
Phishing emails have tell-tale signs that you can use to recognize them and delete them easily and confidently before they take advantage of you. Until pressing, observe, and ask these 7 questions. The email was:
1. Out of the Blue
2. Strange email address (onmicrosoft.com does not email for Amazon.com)
3. Address Generically
4. Grammarly flawed
5. The links look suspicious and you can't tell what website you are going to.
6. Forcing you to take immediate action
7. has an enticing attachment for you to open(warning: it could also be a virus)
Enabling a TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION on all your accounts especially on your shopping accounts will make it really difficult for hackers to take advantage of you.
- Using a password manager will not allow to log you into a phishing website just in case you accidentally click that fake holiday sale email.
- It will help you eliminate reuse passwords which is a leading cause of account breaches.
- It helps you choose random, long passwords and eliminate typing them when a website authenticates us.
Your bank offers a lock or security feature that will disable your card if one of two things happen:
1. Suspicious activity on your account
2. You request for it to be lock until you unlock it manually
While all of these don't really cover every threat out there when shopping online. It can surely get you to move in the right direction in securing your cybersecurity.
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