Home » Antivirus » Alert: Dangers that May Approach You this Holiday Shopping Season

Holiday shopping is a big craze for the people of every age. Many of you have heard many insane stories that people trampling others in the morning on Black Friday in order to get their way to the big-ticket items that were available at ridiculously low cost. Black Friday is not the only day when you will find malls, shopping centers, your local downtown get packed with shoppers. You will see huge rush of people who will be trying to find all the good items for their loved ones and friends. Earlier, it was like people had only one choice to buy things, but now people are choosing online shopping over retail shopping.

More and more people have started shopping online in order to avoid any incident that may occur in the madness of Black Friday or shopping season. Opting out online shopping is smart option as it will save your time, fuel, and energy that you have to invest while hitting the stores.  All of you need to be right with the world, especially when it comes to leveraging the convenience provided by the digitization and technology. With this increasing convenience of shopping more and more things online, the criminals are also not far behind and performing the activities like phishing, hacking, and scam.

Holiday Season Scams

Phishing – Phishing in multiple forms is always on, but when the shopping season is going on and its rate of occurrence increase significantly. It may show up through email, any instant messenger or social media app, as a text message on your phone, etc. There is a strong probability that cybercriminal target the account or platform that you use to communicate with people. Phishing relies on integrating malicious links in to a message or any text document and highlighting that text as important keyword to trick users into clicking on that.

Those links either direct you to a malicious site or install some kind of infection on your machine. Clicking on those links open a malicious website that may track your online activities and give you’re your sensitive information to hackers and cybercriminals.  A common way that hackers use is, they pretend to be the legitimate and send the mail on the behalf of credit card Company asking you to give your details for the verification of your account information. The link on which you click takes you may ask to fill the required information to login into your account. As soon as you enter your information, cybercriminal collect that for malicious use.

Counterfeit Apps – The app stores also have an issue with malicious apps posing these apps for well-established brands and websites.  Recently, many of fake apps for retail and brand names were found on Android as well as Apple’s App Store.  These apps take the advantages of having their name and interface similar to the legitimate apps to trick those users who don’t pay close attention before installing anything on their phone. Although these apps act like a normal shopping app, but they may be the reason of threat to your system as they may collect the user’s credit card information for malicious use.

“Like and share” – Most of you may be familiar about the “like and share” button of social media apps. People tend to hit “like and share” button whenever they see there is something good shared by their friends or family members without verifying how true it is.  There are hackers and cybercriminals who are asking the users to buy their products from their websites as they are offering heavy discount on each item. If your friends ask you to buy something from such sites, ask them if they have received their order or not. It is advised to your not to “like and share” such pages as it will not only increase their audience size, but also giving them the appearance of being legitimate. By liking and sharing malicious and false content, you are also rendering them the chance to use your social app space for posting and promoting their advertisements.

How can you Stay Safe?

Use security software – Having good antivirus software like Avast Antivirus can always help you in keeping your device and identity safe from intruders and hackers. If you install Avast Antivirus security software, it can always protect you from getting infection and data breach.

Be Skeptical – If you notice any post or content on social media that is offering hard to believe deals, they may not be true.  Be brainy to avoid such scams and don’t click on the links that tell you to provide your account and personal information to keep your account active. If you feel that something is not right call your bank to inform them about the phishing attempt.

Go to the Source – To avoid counterfeit apps, one of the easiest ways is, go to the website on your mobile browser and try to find the link to the app from their website.

Update – To spread viruses, malware writers rely on software bugs known as vulnerabilities.  Updating your system whenever any update or patch is released can be helpful in keeping your system at a bay from vulnerabilities.  This doesn’t only apply on the apps, but also on the operating system. It is better to turn on “auto update” on all of your devices.

This article along with little awareness and attention to detail will help you in staying safe online. The steps listed above will ensure that the bad guys remain at bay whenever you are doing something online.