How to avoid scams during Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, ‘El Dorado’ for hackers

Source: Android Central

Online shopping is “El Dorado for scammers” who seek to target consumers who are excited to have their holiday shopping done during Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, experts say. They add that now is not the time to feel exhausted from worrying about scams, but rather to remember that tips to avoid it and understand online protection are easy.

In 2020, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission recorded 4.7 million reports of cybercrime, of which 2.1 million were fraud-related. Consumers lost $ 3.3 billion due to fraud at the time – or $ 702.13 per share. sag. Dollar losses have increased by 73% year-on-year, suggesting that the pandemic is fueling a significant increase in this type of targeted digital crime, says Carmi Levy, a technology expert.

“Unsurprisingly, most consumers still hold on to the outdated notion that cybercrime is something that always happens to others and never to them. We simply do not believe that a fraudulent event can happen to us – despite data, which suggests that it is a major event.problem and it is getting worse, “he says.

Levy notes that due to the pandemic, many shoppers have changed their buying behavior toward online shopping, and the rise in cybercrime suggests that too many people are not taking security as seriously as they should.

“While retailers, platform providers and payment processors continue to introduce better technologies that tilt the playing field in our favor, it is equally true that human behavior must evolve further if we are to collectively and individually reduce our risk of falling victim to online. While Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday represent the highest-profile milestones in the retail sector’s annual calendar due to the large volume of online transactions, this is a challenge that remains as critical to consumers every other day of the year, “Carmi Levy, a technology expert, says.

While browsing websites to find deals on the best Android devices for sale or the best smartwatch deals, be aware that cybercriminals use even more sophisticated tools to try to cheat you, Levy says.

Black Friday / Cyber ​​Monday are key days for cybercriminals to attack

Black Friday phonesSource: Android Central / Russell Holly

Judith Bitterli, senior vice president of revenue generation at McAfee, says in an interview that shockingly more than half of U.S. respondents to the McAfee Consumer Mindset Survey have never considered how much their data is worth.

“Especially around holidays, hackers and bad actors continue to look for ways to exploit others for money by capturing and stealing our personally identifiable information,” she says.

“Especially around holidays, hackers and bad actors continue to look for ways to exploit others for money by capturing and stealing our personally identifiable information,” she says.

Bitterli adds that hackers know that consumers shop more online because of the pandemic and specifically use “our emotions, fears and misplaced feelings of trust to gain control.”

“Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday allow cybercriminals to test their skills and fraud, so it’s important for consumers to slow down and be aware that a scam may be trying to take advantage of their financial or personal information.” she says.

According to 2020 Adobe Analytics data, U.S. consumers spent $ 34.4 billion during the five-day cyber-week period that covered both Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. This is an increase of 20.7% compared to the previous year, according to data.

Adam Levine, a security expert and host of the podcast What the Hack with Adam Levine, says that as holiday shopping has shifted from brick-and-mortar retailers to e-commerce sites, especially in the wake of COVID, scams have increased dramatically.

“The opportunities for scammers have increased dramatically. Consumers need to be more aware of potential scams, including smishing (text-related scams), delivery scams and charity scams,” he says. “And again, online is El Dorado for scammers who want to target consumers who are looking for things that are not going to make it in time.”

If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is

securitySource: Android Central

Levine says that when shopping online, pay close attention to your accounts and immediately report any unusual activity; it may even be worthwhile to set up transaction alerts on your financial accounts.

In addition, he says it may be ideal to sign up for comprehensive credit and identity monitoring services that let you know about account activity.

“Lead with cynicism and doubt, and take the extra time and steps to make sure what you see and interact with is actually legitimate,” says Carmi Levy

Levy notes that some tips can be even simpler, like checking links. When browsing sites, he says, make sure links start with “https and not http,” the added “s” means the web page is secure.

He adds when reading quotes from an email, be sure to check for spelling mistakes in grammar and punctuation, and more importantly, if you are addressed generically (Dear customer) instead of your real name, it could be a scam .

When looking for deals, Levy notes that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

“Lead with cynicism and doubt, and take the extra time and steps to make sure what you see and interact with is actually legitimate. Do further research to know what the expected price range is for the things you want to buy. “The more information you have, the better protected you are from malicious dealers and outright criminals,” he says.

In addition, if you shop online, use a credit card and not a debit card, as it is easier to track credit card transactions. It will also be easy for your bank to find out where the charges are made by tracking a credit card.

Make sure you use secured payment methods and if a vendor asks for Venmo or Cash App, it could be a scam.

Will people actually follow these rules, or are they too exhausted?

The hope is that they will, and Bitterli notes that two out of three respondents in the U.S. expressed concern about their device security, and half of respondents in McAfee’s survey said they proactively purchased security software.

“With more people than ever online, consumers are becoming more aware of these cybersecurity issues and they are starting to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Now we definitely have work to do,” she says.

It is easy to understand scammers and protection, she says, and now it is more important than ever that users do not feel exhausted about having to implement these practices.

“Hackers reckon that people are exhausted from hearing about scams and are busy around this time of year. But the good news is that a few simple reminders and security solutions go a long way. Doing the work in advance is a difficult part, but Keeping in mind that once you have solutions in place, you can enjoy your vacation and internet without worries, will make it all worth it, “she says.

Cyber ​​security training is an ongoing effort

Password managers completelySource: Android Central

Ritesh Kotak, a cybersecurity and technology expert, says in an interview that cybersecurity awareness has a long way to go and since we can keep discussing the basics, people are being affected every day.

“I would recommend taking small steps, you do not have to be an expert to implement the tips … We need more training that is easy to ingest and accessible to individuals,” he says.

Kotak adds that training should be in multiple languages ​​and that organizations and various media should continue to raise these issues along with giving readers tips to protect themselves.

“It would be an effective way to get the public more involved in the subject,” he says.

Kotak notes that there are many opportunities online to find resources to educate yourself, and that it is also up to suppliers to ensure that they provide security to customers when shopping online.

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