Tis the season to shop until you drop, and rather than risk getting run over by savage shoppers who wouldn't think twice about trampling a toddler if it meant winning the race to the electronics section at Wally World, more and more people are finding it more convenient to shop online during Black Friday
. That will certainly save you from physical harm, but there are other risks you need to be aware of.
Byron Acohido talked with a number of security professionals who collectively warned about increasingly aggressive efforts by cybercriminals to prey on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers. More than ever, these digital crooks are bombarding email, social media posts, and search results with poisoned links that either lead to a scam or will infect your PC with malware.
These might include fake delivery confirmations in your inbox that appear to come from FedEx, UPS, Amazon, Walmart, or other places, or they could be old school phishing attempts. It all boils down to a numbers campaign, with online crooks hoping to fool 1 in 10 recipients using a holiday themed approach.
"We're human; we're compelled to click," Proofpoint executive vice president David Knight told USA Today
. "And we're even more human during the holiday season.
By one estimate, fake delivery messages jumped 62 percent in the third quarter. You have to be careful on your mobile device, too. Identity verification firm Signifyd says that 14 percent of retail traffic comes from smartphones and another 10 percent from tablets. The scary part? Some 1.3 percent of e-commerce
sales on phones are fraudulent.
The bottom line is to be weary what you click, especially when a deal seems too good to be true.