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December is filled with festivities, traditions and tons of online Holiday shopping.

Online sales are expected to increase 25%.

Retailers aren’t the only ones excited about these projections. Cyber criminals use this time of the year to spread viruses and steal people’s private information.

In 2015, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the average daily number of malware infections was up 84% compared to the previous month.

Don’t fall prey to these common cyber security scams during this holiday season.

1. Fake Invoices

Hackers know that people like to track their packages and find out the delivery date. They can send fake FedEx, UPS or U.S. Customs Service invoices to different accounts. Avoid all invoices that request any type of personal information such as a credit card number or bank account information. When in doubt, call the shipping company to double check.

2. Charity Phishing Scams

The holidays are a season of generosity and giving, and hackers love to take advantage of people’s kind gestures. During this time of the year, phishing emails are often disguised as emails from charity organizations. These fake emails ask for donations and later exploit donors’ credit card information.

Stay away from clicking on any links or downloading attachments and donate directly on the organizations’ official websites.

3. New Friend Requests

You’re bound to meet new people at Holiday parties. People are often open to making new friendships and accepting friend requests from people they have met at a function.

Despite your good holiday spirits, beware of accepting friend requests from strangers. Cyber criminals are known for creating fake Facebook and LinkedIn accounts that distribute different types of viruses.

4. Holiday E-Card and Deal Scams

Any holiday email that has an attachment and is sent from an unknown/unfamiliar address most likely is a scam. According to the Verizon 2016 DBIR, email attachments are the #1 delivery vehicle for malware. No matter how tempting it is to see what type of Holiday prize you won or an E-Card that features dancing elves, don’t download any attachment.

While online shopping, follow your gut instinct and make your purchases and donations directly on the companies’ websites. You can also take additional steps to avoid credit card fraud all together with the Gardevant Card, the latest biometric solution to preventing fraudulent charges.

 

 

 

 

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