Cyber (Hygiene) Monday | Farmington, MI Patch | #cyberfraud | #criminal | #cybercrimnals

  • Risk of cyber scams for US online shoppers in Q4 estimated to be 2x higher than previous year
  • Losses from online payment fraud will more than double by 2023, reaching $48 billion/annually
  • 75% of Americans plan to shop online more than they did last year
  • Avira has already spotted numerous phishing scams imitating Amazon, Chase Bank, DHL, and more
  • Observing Cyber(Hygiene) Monday can help shoppers avoid getting their money or identity stolen

November 19, 2020 (SAN JOSE, CALIF.) – The way we shop has fundamentally changed since the onset of COVID, and, this year, 75% of Americans say they plan to shop online more than they did in 2019. With Americans turning to the internet for their shopping needs, cyber attackers are also filling their virtual carts; in Q3 2020, Avira researchers saw more e-commerce phishing scams than ever before, with attackers imitating well-known retailers, couriers, and banks in order to gain access to financial and other personal information. To help protect Americans from online theft, Avira encourages consumers to observe Cyber(Hygiene) Monday, November 23, 2020 and asks online shoppers to review a simple 7-point online safety check before the holiday shopping season officially begins.

(Phishing scam imitating Amazon)

This Cyber(Hygiene) Monday, online shoppers can follow 7 simple tips to educate themselves and prepare for a safe virtual shopping season.

1. Update your device and software. Outdated software often has security loopholes known to hackers. By simply updating to the latest OS version available for your device, software or browser, these flaws are immediately fixed – it’s like fixing a broken door on your device. 2. Bookmark the authentic sites you want to visit

. If you wake up on Black Friday and start shopping for a new iPhone when an 80% discount pops up, it’s probably too good to be true. Instead of clicking on popups, always visit the retail websites directly. If you choose to shop on a website you’re not familiar with, always check whether the connection to the provider is secured. To do this, look for the padlock icon located to the left of the browser address bar. Additionally, you can check if the URL on the website starts with “https://”. The “s” indicates that the Web connection has been encrypted and protected with an SSL certificate. Without HTTPS, information entered can be easily intercepted by hackers.

3. Create custom passwords for shopping pages. Once cyber attackers get a password that is used for multiple websites, they can easily access individual accounts. Creating strong passwords that are unique for every account really is the easiest way to protect yourself. And the easiest way to store, remember, and manage these passwords is with a password manager. If you don’t want to use a password manager, at least choose something unique!

4. Beware of instant messaging scams. A friend sends you a Facebook link to a great online sale. Yet is it really your friend? Scammers hijack instant messaging accounts by phishing their owners or sending them keylogging malware. Click on the link, and you’ll open the door to malware or end up on a fake site. Instead of clicking the link, always search for the deal directly. Also, consider blocking messages from people on social media who you don’t know, making it harder for third parties to send malware to you.

5. Think twice before following hashtags. Attackers tend to use fake accounts to tag users in posts with malicious links, share fraudulent messages, or retweet. To make them more credible, they use popular hashtags such as #blackfriday or #discounts. When looking at hashtagged content, make sure you’re checking the source to ensure it’s a cred

6. Prepare for phishing emails. Adding infected attachments to “deals emails” is a specialty of cyber attackers. Be prepared for the emails and, instead of clicking on links in emails or downloading attachments, access the listed website yourself via the browser to make sure that the offer or any payment requests are genuine. Alternatively, the sender’s email address or web address can be checked by hovering over it without clicking on the link.

7. Download your bank app to monitor your credit card activity. Cybercriminals know that during Black Friday and the holidays you’re making more credit card purchases – they hope that by dipping into your bank account during this time, the unusual activity will go unnoticed. Many credit card providers or banks now offer push notifications that immediately send an SMS to the mobile phone during a payment process. Thus, unusual purchases can be noticed immediately. Check with your bank to see what type of protection they offer in preparation for the holidays 2020.

(Phishing scam imitating Chase Bank)

Where there is heavy web traffic, cybercriminals will follow. Consider these alarming stats and then get your digital self in shape before clicking on any offer:

  • Losses from online payment fraud will more than double by 2023, reaching $48 billion annually, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
  • In the were up on Black Friday compared to 2018.
  • Despite the large number of customers being scammed, only 14% of us think about whether a website appears fraudulent when shopping in the sales.1

“With so many more people shopping online, phishing is a serious threat for the average consumer this Black Friday and holiday shopping season,” said Alexander Vukcevic, Direct of the Avira Protection Labs. “Malware authors are notorious for taking advantage of opportunities, and 2020 has provided a great one for them. We’re already seeing a greater flood of fake online shopping ads that mimic Amazon, and eBay, as well as fake bank and delivery notices from campaigns looking like PayPal, Chase Bank and DHL. Cyber attackers are out for money and sometimes identities, so people need to be smarter this season.”

About Avira

Avira provides a consumer-focused portfolio of security and privacy solutions for Windows and Mac computers, Android and iOS smartphones, home networks, and smart devices (IoT). All Avira features are available as licensed SDKs and APIs. Working together, Avira and its partners protect more than 500 million devices globally. Avira solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results from independent security tests.

Avira is a privately held company headquartered near Lake Constance, Germany, with additional offices in the EU, the United States, and Asia. For more information about Avira visit

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