Cat in a paper bag

3 threats to watch out for this Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is upon us, and no doubt you’ll have been under a sea of Black Friday/Cyber Monday marketing since about November 1. 

Sales are great if it means you get money off something you were going to buy anyway. But scammers love sales like this, as they aim to take advantage of spending sprees and divert some of that cash in their direction.

However, threats don’t go away with the end of sale season. And there are things we need to watch out for the entire year. 

With that in mind, we spoke to Jerome Segura, Senior Director of the Malwarebytes Threat Intelligence team, to ask him what to watch out for on Cyber Monday and beyond:

1. Phishing

“Phishing is highly effective. Fraudsters send their scammy messages via email or text message, with the aim of socially engineering you into handing over your personal details.

Remember to stay away from things that look too good to be true, or appear urgent and demand your immediate attention. Take the time to validate an email or SMS by visiting the official website of the company or brand mentioned in the message instead of clicking directly on a link or dialing a phone number.”

2. Tech support scams

“Despite a number of takedowns, the tech support scam industry is running at an all time high. There was a time when fake Microsoft agents would ‘only’ charge for a service fee and then be on their way to their next victim. Now, you’re just as likely to hear of tech support scammers hacking into and then stealing thousands of dollars from victims’ bank accounts.

Never allow anyone remote access to your computer, unless that happens to be a family member, and especially not if it’s someone you’ve just met over the internet. If you really need help fixing your computer, ask someone you know or take it to a local computer store. And remember, Microsoft will not call you directly.”

3. Theft

“Your devices contain a lot of personal information. If you’re travelling this holiday season—or, indeed, whenever you travel—you need to make sure your devices are protected in case of theft.

Make sure to protect your phones, tablets, and laptops with strong passwords, and make sure you have a way to remotely wipe the data in case you lose them. The hardware can be replaced but the data cannot, and in some cases that stolen data could be used to commit financial crimes or extortion.”

Got any other tips? Let us know yours in the comments section. And Happy Cyber Monday!

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