Phishing scams, fake domains and malware attacks increase during this time of year, according to Check Point Software.
Webloyalty points out in a recent study that, Cyber Monday sales will grow this year by 11% and an average spend of about 155€ will be made, 5% more than in 2021.
Cyber Monday emerged in 2005 as a continuation of the long weekend shopping starting on Black Friday. Black Friday, named after Thanksgiving was initially intended for sales and shopping in physical stores, and “Cyber Monday” for the same, but for online stores and ecommerce platforms. According to a new report by Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday in the US is expected to remain the year’s biggest shopping day, driving an impressive $11.2billion in spending in the US, increasing 5.1% over last year, versus just 1% growth for Black Friday sales.
Nowadays both dates are practically the same and have no differentiation, not only in terms of purchases and figures, but also in the cyber-attacks they receive and which are related to these ‘shopping’ days. With last year’s supply chain issues resolved, it is expected that Cyber Monday sales and participation will increase exponentially as shoppers flock online to look for deals; online retail stores have already started advertising for Cyber Monday deals, weeks ahead of the actual day on November 28th. Webloyalty’s Black Friday 2022 report shows that this year both shopping and spending on both days will increase. An 11% increase in sales and an average spend of 155€ (5% more than in 2021), a great opportunity for cybercriminals to commit their misdeeds.
Check Point® Software Technologies wants to raise awareness among potential shoppers to be cautious with their Cyber Monday purchases as they ‘stroll online’ for such amazing deals.
Taking as an example the most recent data from Check Point Software referring to Amazon Prime Day, we can see how both the number of pages related to the term “amazon” and phishing attacks using this company as an excuse increased. Almost 1,900 Amazon-related web pages were created and 10% of them were fraudulent. Without going any further, last year, in the days leading up to Black Friday, there was a 178% increase in malicious web stores globally.
And it is not just websites that you have to watch out for, phishing is also a big player these days. Just this week, Check Point Software published a report on malware in Q3 that reflects how transport and package courier companies are used to impersonate identities and carry out phishing attacks, and where DHL ranks first. This has a close relationship with Cyber Monday, as many of the purchases are made online and delivered with parcel companies, making it more likely that people will “bite” on a scam.
In order for people to take the necessary precautions when buying their favourite products, Check Point Software would like to provide a series of tips to stay safe whilst participating in this season of shopping and as you start to put favoured purchases in your Cyber Monday shopping carts:
- Always buy from an authentic and reliable source: the ideal is to look for the link in the search engine that we use of the store from which we want to purchase the product. Clicking on a link sent to potential shoppers by email without knowing its origin could potentially be dangerous.
- Be alert to similar domains: it is very important to pay attention to the links and domains of the web pages we enter. Misspellings or misspelled names are a sign of which pages are the originals and which have been created to try to attack users who enter.
- Offers that seem too good to be true will, in fact, always be too good to actually be true: check several sites to see if the offer is real or not. An unusual discount on a highly demanded product could be a clear indicator that it is a scam.
- Always look for the padlock: Websites that have the HTTPS instead of HHTP are the secure and authentic sites. In addition, they will have a padlock in front of them to distinguish them from the others. We should only enter these since they are the ones that comply with international security standards.
- Have security solutions for endpoints: you should also have such security solutions for your e-mail. With this measure many cyberattacks and information leaks can be prevented.
- Always be on the lookout for password reset emails: especially when the volume of online traffic is at its peak, such as on Cyber Monday. If you receive an uninvited password reset email, always visit the website directly (do not click on the links) and change your password.
Cyber Monday is a great opportunity for many people to get services and products they need at a great discount, although they should also be on the alert to cyber scams, phishing and specially discounted offers. In this type of online offer days, many cybercriminals try to impersonate companies involved in such specials, such as delivery companies or stores. You need to continue to practice vigilance so as not to fall for the scams online, even as you enjoy shopping.