The Top 12 Scams of Christmas 2012: New Threats Hitting Mobile, Email and the Web

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Cyber criminals know social media networks are a good place to catch you off guard because we’re all “friends,” right? Scammers use channels like Facebook and Twitter, just like email and websites, to scam consumers during the holidays. Be careful when clicking or liking posts, and while taking advantage of raffle contests, and fan page deals that you get from your “friends.” They advertise the hottest holiday gifts and ask you to install apps to receive discounts after your friends’ accounts have been hacked and start sending out fake alerts. Twitter ads and special discounts utilize blind, shortened links, many of which could easily be malicious.

McAfee, one of the world’s largest dedicated security technology companies, recently released findings from their 2012 Holiday Shopping Study. The study, conducted online among over 2,300 U.S. adults by Harris Interactive, investigates the online habits and behaviors of Americans, including those who indicate that they will engage with the Internet and mobile devices while shopping this holiday season. In light of these findings, McAfee also exposes the Top 12 Scams of Christmas that criminals plan to use to rip off Americans as they shop online this year.

While Americans have become accustomed to shopping online, and will do so in droves, they are also using their mobile phones for more of their everyday activities.

Among those Americans planning on using smartphones and/or tablets to purchase gifts this holiday season, over half (54 percent) are specifically planning to use apps for shopping and/or banking during the holiday season; as such, mobile devices have proven irresistible to cyber criminals, and now they are targeting mobile users through malicious applications.

‘Tis the season for consumers to spend more time online - shopping for gifts. 88 percent of those Americans who plan on shopping online during the 2012 holiday season plan on using a personal computer to do so, and 34 percent will use a tablet (21 percent) and/or smartphone (19 percent). But with nearly half (48 percent) of Americans planning to shop online on Cyber Monday for sales (45 percent using a computer, 10 percent using a mobile device), here are the “12 Scams of Christmas,” the dozen most dangerous online scams to watch out for this holiday season.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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