Don’t Fall for Holiday Cyber Scams: Eight Ways to Protect Yourself

During the Holidays email inboxes are flooded with messages designed to take advantage of common holiday situations to gain access to personal and financial information that can be used for a cybercriminals gain. Common holiday scams include bogus shipping notifications, sending fake coupons or gift cards, or even fraudulent charities, all of which can contain malicious attachments or links to a well-designed phishing campaign. Here is a list of measures you can take to protect yourself and AFS:

  • Be careful when opening attachments or clicking links in unsolicited email messages
  • Use caution when shopping online
  • Verify a charity by contacting organizations like Charity Navigator or CharityWatch
  • Be careful when clicking on any emails, instant messages or social media posts that claim to be offering tickets
  • Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official agent or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site
  • Buy gifts only from official and trusted websites and check that they use a secure payment system and the secure communication protocol (HTTPS)
  • Pay special attention to the website name and domain. Small changes in the name or domain can direct you to a completely different company
  • Always pay by credit card. Other payment methods such as debit card, cash or money transfer services are not secure