Cyber Thieves Don’t Take Holidays
Over this past weekend, I joined the masses of Americans out shopping for Christmas. I went to eight stores across three counties in under six hours. Afterward, I joined most of Fauquier County on Main Street to watch the Warrenton Christmas parade with my family. And, to end the weekend, my husband and I had a mini-getaway to National Harbor with friends.
In all of these very public venues, everyone was out for holiday fun, spending lots of time and money on holiday activities. And, this wasn’t even close to the number of Americans who were out shopping over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to CNN, American shoppers spent $5 billion dollars in online shopping alone, in 24 hours, on Black Friday. As Nathan pointed out last week, this figure is dwarfed by the $25 billion that is spent on Singles Day in China, but the number is still pretty astonishing.
Even more interesting is that almost 37% of all online shopping was done on a mobile device—with over half of Black Friday spending on Amazon. And so, mobile ads, promotional email blitzes, and banner ads are blanketing our web browsers and inboxes. This constant flurry of information and ease of mobile shopping makes the holiday season ripe for cyber theft.
According to SC Magazine, “Cybercriminals take the holiday season seriously and prepare well in advance for their online shopping sprees, banking on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and every other part of the shopping season. The reasons are easy to understand: criminals will try to get lost in the shuffle, taking advantage of the barrage of online transactions that come during the most wonderful time of the year.”
So, here are a few ways to keep you and your family safe from cyber theft this holiday season and beyond. Happy secure shopping!
Visit these sites for more information and best practices:
- StaySafeOnline: Review the STOP. THINK. CONNECT™ cybersecurity educational campaign.
- OnGuardOnline: Focused on online security for kids, it includes a blog on current cyber trends.
- FDIC Consumer Assistance & Information
- FBI Scams and Safety provides additional tips