Christmas is celebrated this week, a time of year characterized by gift exchanges with family or friends from the office and many choose to buy presents online. This season, cyberattacks when making Christmas purchases increase more than usual and Peruvians are more susceptible to falling for this type of scam, but what should we do to safeguard this delicate information?
“The most risky season comes with Christmas purchases because transactional peaks are generated. Currently, we do not make a decision without looking at the cell phone, so as consumers it is important to be aware that we must learn from this digital world or we will expose ourselves to being victims of cyber attacks”asserted Diego Samuel Espitia, Security Senior Research at Telefónica Tech.
After the pandemic, more entrepreneurs are concentrating their efforts on selling through social networks, contacting their customers directly, and this represents a cyber risk for them. According to Espitia, less than 20% of the income of a business on-line They come from a web platform. Instead, about 80% comes from social media and instant messaging.
“The latter is usually the window of many entrepreneurs”, says the executive. This increases the risk of exposing yourself to sensitive data capture via malicious links. Here are five tips to avoid falling victim to a data breach when doing some holiday shopping:
- Prevention from the analog world: Cyber threats may be digital, but they are reflected in the analog world. On the Internet, it is convenient to doubt suspicious promotions or those that promise excessive gifts, as well as the old advice not to talk to strangers on the street. If it seems too good to be true, don’t click.
- Purchases with genuine interest: Oneself must generate interest in a gift and take a prudent time to look for it. Scam offers find you, so it helps to be wary of those that only appear in December, play on emotions and push you to click on malicious links. Take 15 seconds to open any message, a time that makes the difference between falling, and not, in a cyber attack.
- spear phishing: It is a variant of phishing or scam aimed at capturing sensitive information from companies or organizations. It arrives as fraudulent messages in an email, via SMS, through social networks and messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram. These seek to install malware on the victim’s computer and have several ways to be alert: like the message that circulated a few weeks ago and impersonates an Amazon manager offering work or some data forms that can pass as advertising.
- Fake websites: Many cyber attackers create websites almost identical to certain official pages and they turn out to be fake. They are used to apply for passports, financial transactions or pay taxes. The lock on the URL or the “https” extension no longer guarantees anything. It is important to verify that the URL is correct, including checking for grammar, spelling errors, and checking other user comments.
- Avoid falling for a fake seller. Before buying we must do the work of a researcher and inquire about the sellers. For this, it is key to ask: for forms of payment, means of return, methods of non-payment or delays; look for people who have had contact, generate that security with the buyer.
Finally, Espitia recalls that close to the Christmas celebrations we look for transportation services, parties, trips, food, so “cyber-fraudsters take advantage of that need that makes consumers lower their guard” to extract data. As consumers, he points out, being aware of cyber threats allows us to keep our family safe and focus on what really matters at Christmas.