Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us. Expect not only increased conscious spending but increased “scampaigns” as well. It's more important than almost any other time of the year to stay safe during the busy holiday shopping season.

This is just a friendly reminder to keep online security fundamentals in the forefront and be cognizant of common scams during the holiday shuffle.

Emails

  1. Be on the lookout for spoofed emails.
  2. Do not open links or open attachments in unexpected emails.
  3. Ecards from unknown senders can contain malicious links.
  4. Holiday-themed screensavers and other computer widgets can be laden with malware.
  5. Be careful with link advertisements in emails. There could be fake advertisements and fake marketing material that could deliver infected files. Go directly to the website in question and verify the deals.
  6. Never download and open attachments from invoice or receipt emails from products you don’t use. If you have legitimate concerns, contact the company directly.
  7. Do not click on links from shipping notifications you weren’t expecting. This is most likely a phishing attempt.
  8. Never give out personal information via email.

Other Security Tips

  • If you reuse passwords, stop doing so and make them all different. Use a secure password manager to help you remember all these passwords.
  • The more you spend, the more you need to check your bank account. If any accounts get compromised, contact your bank immediately.
  • Increased charitable activity during this time of year also attracts scams from fake organizations. Be wary of fraudulent posts on social networking sites that request support for bogus causes.
  • If you think you’ve fallen victim to a phishing attempt or have evidence that you have, quickly change your password and never use that password again.

What are some tips you follow to stay safe during the busy holiday shopping season?

Update 8:49 PM (Same day)

Great minds think alike I guess.

The US-CERT beat me to the punch on this topic a couple hours before I finished writing this post. See their post titled US-CERT Alerts Users to Holiday Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns for more info, including some information I missed.

Good stuff.

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