The end of 2020 is (finally) approaching and let’s be honest – we’ve all earned a good vacation after this past year. But while you’re celebrating the holidays this year, don’t forget that cybercriminals aren’t taking time off.
In fact, hackers always take advantage of the holiday season. Here’s how:
1. Email Overload
We’ve all experienced it before, and it’s happening again. Your email inbox is being flooded with holiday promotions, well wishes, e-cards from loved ones, virtual dinner party invitations, online purchase receipts, and shipping confirmations.
Cybercriminals know this all too well and take advantage of the situation by sending holiday-themed phishing emails disguised as any of the above. Here are some holiday schemes to keep an eye out for this year in particular:
- Virtual Holiday Markets: With everything going digital this year, Holiday Markets are no exception. Some are even charging money for tickets to the event which was free in past years. Hackers are capitalizing on this by exploiting your generosity by claiming the money will support your community. Don’t fall for it! Be sure to do your research to make sure the virtual event is legitimate before giving any money to it.
- Charity Frauds: ‘Tis the season for charities to reach out and ask for holiday donations. Beware of scammers posing as real or fake charities asking for your money. Again, always do your research. You can look the charity up on a browser and donate through their website page rather than through a potentially harmful email link
- Gift Card Scams: This is a common scam that pops up every year. Hackers create a sense of urgency by offering an unbelievable discount on one of the year’s hottest products. Once you’re on the hook, they’ll ask you to pay with gift cards – a telltale sign of a phishing scam. This year, stay away from deals that are too good to be true, particularly around popular items like the PlayStation 5 and “Baby Yoda” merchandise.
2. Reduced Staff
Hackers know that employees are using their vacation days to celebrate the holidays and unwind after a long year. This increases your company’s vulnerability to cyberattacks, as there are fewer people around to defend company data.
3. Remote Staff
More of us are working from home than ever before because of the pandemic. As a result, many employees are using personal devices and logging on from risky Wi-Fi hotspots to work. This decentralized infrastructure leaves your company data more susceptible to hackers who want to infect the company’s network with malware.
Be aware of links posing as legitimate sites or attachments from unknown sources – they could be holiday hackers! Read our latest post on COVID-19 related cyber threats to learn more about how to identify phishing scams. Don’t forget to share it with your colleagues as well!
Most importantly, don’t wait to protect company data until it’s too late! If you want a top-performing business, you need Omega Network’s IT Services. It doesn’t have to be stressful – we speak IT, so you don’t have to.
Discover the Omega difference today by contacting us at Info@OmegaNetworkSolutions.com or 416-322-0333.