A deal or steal? Take care with ‘bargains’ on Black Friday

David Pollino
Posted by David Pollino

I’ve blogged many times about phishing, but it’s a good time for a reminder as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us.

Young woman with bluish hair and cap looking at her laptop and holding a credit card, ready to make a purchase.First, it’s worth restating the often-used phrase: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive emails that appear to offer unbelievable deals, take a moment to reflect before you take action.

Phishing emails look like legitimate communications from real companies, but they aren’t. The scammers want to fool you into believing their communication is genuine so you’ll be persuaded to give them valuable information, such as your usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers.

Cybercriminals will also use instant- and text-messaging to phish for your information. Spoof communications will often direct users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.

Phishing emails also often carry links to a website full of malware, which may infect your computer and give the criminals access to personal information.

Thus there are many good reasons to take care this holiday season. Here are a few tips to help you.

  1. Look closely at emails and delete anything suspicious.
  2. If you receive a questionable email, contact the business directly to verify the message.
  3. Always go directly to websites you want to visit rather than clicking a link.
  4. Never open attachments or links in emails from unknown senders.
  5. Keep your inbox tidy to make it easier to spot a phishing attempt. Unsubscribe from offers and newsletters you don’t really want.

I hope these steps can help you #BeCyberSafe and thereby add to your seasonal cheer. Happy holidays!

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