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Online Scams to Look Out for During the Holidays

Be aware of how hackers can take advantage of you.

More than ever holiday shoppers are now choosing to purchase their gifts online rather than at a physical store location. While online shopping is often preferred for its convenience and incredible discounts, it can also be a great hassle if you fall victim to a virus or scam. Phishing attacks, hacks, and malware are all more common during the holidays — since more people are shopping online — and these scams are getting savvier every year. Luckily, there are several ways that you can protect yourself from scams and viruses while shopping online this season. Be on the lookout for these:

  1. Sketchy Emails That Mimic Well-Known Businesses

Scammers love to send out fake emails that mimic the language and images used by well-known companies. These emails often attempt to trick consumers by offering them a free, in-demand item if they enter a contest, or informing them that their account has been breached, which is a false warning meant to take over a person’s account. You should also be cautious of any email attachments, even if they come from seemingly trustworthy sources, such as a coworker or a friend. If an email or an attachment doesn’t make sense, don’t click on it — the person’s account could have been hacked, and the attachment could contain malware. Reach out to the person directly and ask them if the email is legitimate.

Read More: The Most Common Viruses of 2017 and How to Stop Them

  1. Unbelievable Deals? Pause Before You Buy

Fake and malicious ads and websites are especially common during the holiday season. You may see them at the top of Google search results, or on Facebook, Instagram, or another website. They typically advertise absurdly discounted items, such as expensive sunglasses or handbags, laptops, or other in-demand goods for 80% to 90% off. To avoid these types of scams, avoid clicking on any ads or links that seem too good to be true, and consider using an ad-blocker. You should also verify that you are on a legitimate, secure website before entering any information or making a purchase. Lastly, make sure to take advantage of dfndr security’s various protection features like anti-hacking to prevent you from falling victim to any online scams or fraudulent websites.The anti-hacking feature alerts you that a link is malicious and then blocks it before you even click on it.

  1. Shopping Apps With No Holiday Spirit

During the holidays, many more malicious shopping apps crop up. They typically mimic well-known shopping apps or else lure consumers in by promising unbelievable deals. To avoid becoming a victim of malware or scams, avoid downloading apps from third-party websites. Further, exercise caution when downloading apps from the Google Play store, and pay attention to the language used — is it free of typos or other glaring errors? — and pay attention to the number of reviews and downloads. Lastly, when it comes to shopping on your phone, stick with a store’s official mobile website.