Don’t Bring Malware Into Your Home For the Holidays

On Black Friday, a day with deals that seem too good to be true, it’s likely some of them are. If you plan to buy holiday gifts on a connected device such as your phone, tablet or computer this year, be especially careful to avoid being victim to a holiday scam and malware. Scams can happen anytime of the year but during the holiday season, hackers know that more people are willing to give out credit or banking information online.

Most of the scams during the holiday season are similar to others throughout the year; including malicious links on social media and in e-mail, fake charities, and texts asking for personal information. The difference is that in November and December you’re more rushed and a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal may seem like the perfect way to get both of your kids that gift on the top of their lists.

Spread Holiday Cheer, Not Malware

Fake e-cards are one of the online scams more prevalent during the holiday season. This season you’ll likely receive more e-cards than snail mail from family and friends. If you receive an e-card from someone that you don’t know or from a site you’ve never heard of, don’t open it. If you think you might know the sender, but aren’t positive, be on the safe side and don’t open the message. You can e-mail or call them directly instead to make sure that it isn’t malware.

Mobile Scams Offer Gifts & Prizes

Mobile devices are especially susceptible to malware because most users never turn their phones off. With computers and tablets, if you’re not using the device, you usually turn it off. When your phone is idle and not in use, it is still on and malware can still be running.

There have been reports of new malware found on the Android OS that would take advantage of user’s that are rushing around during the holidays and mistakenly click on links without thinking twice.

  • Loozfon: A phishing e-mail that claims you have won a prize pushes malware onto your device and steals your address book
  • FinFisher: Sends emails or texts with malware that can control and monitor your device. This can control your device even when it’s idle after you open the e-mail.