According to Kaspersky Lab, the threat of financial phishing attacks and malware is particularly high.
Phishing attacks against banks, online shops and payments systems represented 28.73% of phishing attacks in 2014 and there were also 22.9 million financial malware attacks over the same period.
Kaspersky Lab head of retail warned that it is crucial for consumers to be extra careful vigilant when shopping online during the festive period.
“It’s important to be aware that online fraud comes in many shapes and sizes,” he said. “One of the most popular methods to target consumers is the use of phishing emails – targeting consumers with tailored emails with the aim to get them to click on a malicious link. These types of emails are increasingly common when money is the outcome.”
The company is advising consumers to take a few simple steps to help them stay safe online. Perhaps unsurprisingly its main piece of advice is to ensure they have Internet security applications installed and that their applications are up-to-date to protect against the latest security threats. They should also only shop with secure websites and use a complex password on all sites that they frequent.
To avoid becoming a target for spam or phishing attempts, consumers must be wary of clicking on email links and be careful about the kind of information they share online, particularly through social media sites.
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