According to the news headlines a report compiled by anti-cybercrime organisation ThreatMetrix shows that this Christmas is on course to be the biggest ever for cybercrime.
The report named ‘Cybercriminal Christmas’ warns that hackers are using a variety of methods to gain access to retail websites. The methods include the creation of fake accounts, dummy websites and phishing campaigns aimed at appealing to consumers seeking a bargain. So far in the run up to the Christmas holiday 45 million attempted hacks have taken place against the retail sector alone, the overall number of attacks is likely to be more than 90 million.
Earlier in the year the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that cybercrime is officially the nation’s most common offence. After including cybercrime offences into the stats the overall number of crimes in England and Wales jumped by 107%.
"The third quarter yielded record numbers in attack attempts. The ultimate victims are the consumers whose digital identities are increasingly compromised with each subsequent breaches. Cybercriminals don’t sleep when it comes to attacks – the majority of the attempts we saw were in the e-commerce space and retailers must stay on their toes when it comes to protecting digital identities during what is sure to be the largest digital season to date for online and mobile transactions,” said Vanita Pandey, senior director, strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix.
The key word in that comment is ‘attempts’. An attempt does not mean a successful attack. It is to be expected that cyber criminals would take advantage of the Christmas sales to try and scam shoppers, but if consumers take their cyber security seriously then they will be fine.
It’s not just Christmas that people need to be vigilant online, but all year round. By taking these steps you can avoid upset.
Secure Passwords are a must
By ensuring that you use good, tough-to-crack passwords you can make it far more difficult for hackers and cyber criminals to break into your machine.