Tips For Avoiding Holiday Cybercrime

Guest written by Shivika Chopra

Since 2010 online holiday shopping has increased by approximately 10%. $60 billion is expected to be shelled out this year on Christmas presents. Of this amount, an estimated $10 million will slip away silently into the pockets of cyber criminals.

The number of cybercrimes such as non-delivery of paid merchandise, identity theft, and advanced fee fraud is on the rise. Top targets include: Amazon, Staples, Apple, Dell and Office Depot.

Even the FBI blogged about some holiday shopping tips & tricks! Here are a few:

  • Directly type in the URL, as opposed to searching the shop through a search engine
  • Use internet security software that protect you when browsing
  • Check the URL for https, vs the traditional http

Thankfully, we commoners are not the only ones that are being hacked and looted. Lady Gaga was the victim of a cyber attack last week as her Twitter account was hacked. Gaga has 17 million followers and she posted a tweet in the late morning about offering a free iPad2 to her followers to celebrate the holiday season. The link inside the tweet lead to a potentially malicious website. We sincerely hope you didn’t fall for that one! Merry Christmas everyone, wishing you secure shopping times ahead!

Kelly Batke

Kelly is the self-confessed technology laggard who works in technology. The good news is she is slowly reaching late adopter status. Kelly enjoys learning and writing about the psychology behind technology—as in why do we buy what we buy, and how does that impact our environment?