Cyber Monday is a record setting day year after year: most internet traffic, most online sales, and unfortunately, huge amounts of cyber criminal activity. Christmas really does come early for hackers–they target gullible shoppers and vulnerable businesses to capitalize on the fervor surrounding Cyber Monday. Customers are far more likely to fall victim to malware or phishing and disclose sensitive information like credit card numbers and bank accounts. Hackers package their malicious links as too-good-to-be-true discount codes and take to social media in order to amplify their attack. Check out the infographic to see some tactics used by hackers and how you can protect yourself against any Cyber Monday scam.
A cyber monday scam in action. For online businesses, Cyber Monday is the most lucrative 24 hours of the year. Customers take advantage of huge savings, jumpstarting the holiday shopping season – just look at last year’s stats: $2.29 billion in sales, 850 million page views per minute (highest on record), and over 5.5 million “Cyber Monday” social media mentions last Thanksgiving season. But Cyber Monday is a hacker’s version of shooting fish in a barrel. Credit card numbers are tossed around like beach balls at a music festival, and shoppers will click on anything that looks like a coupon. It only takes a hacker 10 minutes to build a convincing fake social media profile, complete with a “DISCOUNT” link, and launch the perfect phishing or malware attack. 64% of organizations report an increase in cyber crime on Cyber Monday. Phishing links go up as much as 336% around Thanksgiving. 30 million malicious tweets are sent daily. Cyber monday scam.
For consumers: be wary of pop-ups, redirects, or anything that looks like it could be a fake page; don’t click on anything sent via social media or email – go to sites directly to verify coupons; hover over links before clicking and watch for misspellings, inauthentic handles or email addresses. For businesses: monitor social media for malware or phishing posted with your hashtags, logo or messaging; protect customers by over-communicating with them about your official sources for deals and discounts this season; look for the impersonator accounts on social media and work with the social networks to take down fraudulent accounts. For both: Be vigilant. Cyber Monday is a shot of adrenaline to the economy, but only if it’s done safely and securely. Cyber criminals are hunting for gullible shoppers and vulnerable businesses. When you shop this Cyber Monday, shop with care. Cyber Monday Scam.