Christmas is a time for gift giving and spending more time with loved ones… but that does not stop cybercriminals from trying to get your customers’ data.

Christmas is always a special time for millions of people around the world. This happy season has a tradition of giving heart-felt gifts as a token of affection and love, as well as spending more time with loved ones who are rarely seen.

But it is also a special season for cybercriminals, as they take advantage of these shopping days to intensify their phishing attacks, ransomware, and even dropping malware into emails. 

During this time of frenzied shopping for the perfect or last-minute Christmas gifts, cyber-attacks are intensified. 

According to Check Point Software, on Amazon’s Prime Day, for example, attacks related to the US company increased by 37% compared to the average for June. 

The strategies range from the creation of web pages that simulate those of another company, through phishing emails, impersonations, to ransomware attacks. 

According to Check Point Software’s Brand Phishing Report Q3 2022, phishing is also a major player in Internet scams, and in the last quarter, DHL, the parcel delivery company, was the most impersonated company setting up shoppers for cybercrime.  At a time when e-commerce is stronger than ever, it is necessary to educate and remind customers to be especially careful with messages from such invitations for amazing offers.

For people to be able to shop securely and without any mishaps, here are some tips retailers can provide consumers for a safe and secure shopping experience:

    1. Always buy from an authentic and reliable source: Prevent Christmas cheer from falling to cyber crime always look for the link in the search engine you use, never click on links sent to you by e-mail or text message, as they are potentially dangerous because many cybercriminals try to phish through these channels.
    2. Be aware of similar domains: cybercriminals will always try to make the domains they create for the pages they imitate look as similar as possible to the original, but they will always have some spelling mistakes or the domain name will be misspelled, so by paying close attention to such spellings, we will be able to avoid future problems.
    3. Offers that seem too good to be true will always be too good to be true: if an offer is too good to be true, it is probably a scam, even more so at this time of the year when there are usually no big discounts. Do not get carried away by surprisingly low prices.
    4. Always look for the lock: secure Internet sites have the letters HTTPS at the beginning of the domain, as opposed to those that are not, which have HTTP without the final “s”. HTTPS sites are those that comply with international security standards.
    5. Have endpoint security solutions in place: it is necessary to have them for the email as well as for websites when we surf the Internet, since they can prevent the spread of such malware to the rest of the equipment or computers.
    6. Always be on the lookout for password reset emails: companies will never ask you to reset your password unless you have requested it yourself, so if you receive an email asking you to change your password, the best thing to do is to go to the company’s website and change your password from there.

“We all want to have a smooth Christmas, buy gifts for ourselves and our family and friends and have a peaceful vacation, but cybercriminals do not take vacations and that is why you have to be very cautious, even more so at this time of year,” says Teong Eng Guan, Business Leader for ASEAN and Korea at Check Point Software. 

“Cyber-attacks, as our reports point out, continue to increase, especially more so around such special holiday seasons such as Christmas. Both ransomware and phishing are the order of the day for companies and individuals, so no one is exempt from danger.”