We want our message to be loud and clear: Be wise to holiday phishing scams when choosing to shop and buy online. Malicious ad campaigns could be lurking on e-commerce websites, and fraudulent emails containing scams or nefarious links could be hitting your inbox.
Warning signs of a phishing email:
- Phony sender email addresses (don’t trust the display name – and always check the full email address)
- Suspicious links (hover over a link without clicking to reveal the destination URL)
- Spelling errors (attackers tend to be grammatically incorrect)
- Requests for personal information (legitimate companies do not typically ask for this over email)
- Malicious attachments (trust your gut and never open a questionable attachment)
Be prepared by setting up multi-factor authentication wherever possible for your most frequently used accounts. Examples include banking apps, payment sites (like PayPal: How to set up 2FA) and e-commerce sites (such as Amazon: How to set up 2FA). This will help protect your accounts from theft and prevent a breach of your private data.
Another way to stay secure is to only visit sites you trust. All reputable shopping websites will have a secure URL that includes HTTPS, as well as a lock symbol in the upper left of the URL address bar. Visual reference below.
Wishing you all a safe and warm holiday season.
By Phillip Jackson, Chief Information Officer at Arctic IT