The Holiday of Cybercrime is Upon Us: G DATA’s Top Safety Tips for Shopping Securely Online

Share Article

G DATA’s SecurityLab compiled the most common attacks targeting consumers and tips to avoid being hacked.

Every year around the holidays, online shopping hits a high, and so does online crime

Last year, the US hit a new high of $69.68 billion in e-commerce sales during the holiday season, with the expectation that that number will rise this year. While the vast majority of consumers view shopping online during the holiday season as a way to ease the stress, cybercriminals see the spike in online shopping during the season as the best time to attack. To help shoppers avoid being the target of a hack, global security company, G DATA, has compiled the most popular scams to watch out for, as well as the best tips to stay safe while online shopping this holiday season.

“Every year around the holidays, online shopping hits a high, and so does online crime,” says Andy Hayter, G DATA’s security evangelist. “Attackers see the rise in online shopping as an opportunity to initiate attacks on an even bigger user base with a greater amount of data and personal identifiable information available. During this time, it's so important that consumers are extra vigilant and take precautions to avoid being the next target.”


Special Offer Emails
During the holiday season, consumers receive an extraordinary amount of emails with special sales, exclusive deals and one-time offers. Those low prices that seem too good to be true, more often than not, are. The links in these emails can either direct you to a website which is infected with malicious programs or a fake website. If you were to purchase something through these fake websites, you will be handing over all your personal information and credit card with ease with no purchase actually made.

Fake Shipping Notification Emails
After making purchases online, the third party shipper typically sends a separate email with delivery information. It has become quite common for cybercriminals to take advantage of this knowledge and send out fake shipping notification emails. Links in these emails lead right to malware traps and theft of personal information.

Season’s Greetings From Email, Text Message or Messaging Apps
To let people know you are thinking of them during the holiday, it is typical to send greetings electronically throughout the season. Criminals make use of this by sending messages through SMS, messaging apps or emails, which contain links to malware-laced websites and malicious attachments.

Manipulation of Online Banking Transactions
Many gifts that are purchased online are paid in advance or set up through an online banking service. Criminals will trick users into visiting a manipulated website or opening an infected attachment. Criminals will also send out fake payment reminders with similar traps set up. The linked websites often contain specialized banking Trojans, and if the infection is successful, payments made by the victims are redirected to a different bank account.


■ Be Protected on the Internet: Implement a comprehensive security solution on your computer, smartphone or tablet. The security suite should have powerful real-time protection from current online threats.
■ Be Up-To-Date: Any software, apps, as well as the operating system on a PC or mobile device should be kept up to date, and all available updates should be installed as quickly as possible. By continuing to be up-to-date, users will be able to fix security flaws, which would otherwise be exploited by criminals.
■ Do Online Banking Safely: Whenever making money transfers or other banking transactions, users should have two-factor authentication in place.
■ Only Shop on Reputable Websites: Buyers are advised to carefully check the shop prior to buying anything online. A good indicator of a safe website is the terms and conditions, as well as information being easily accessible about shipping costs. Doing some quick online research on the retailer will also pull up valuable information on their credibility.
■ Delete Spam Emails: All messages with shady gift offers or deals should be deleted immediately. It is especially important never to open any attachments to these emails or click on any links.
■ Safely Make Payments Online: During the payment process all consumers should be paying close attention to any security messages in the browser. A green padlock symbol and the prefix https:// in the address bar should always be present. It is not recommended that any payments be made without both of these indicators visible, and if payment providers are used, it should have buyer protection in place.

About G DATA
G DATA is a world renowned leader in security software solutions and a pioneer in the field of virus protection. Combining the world’s best security technologies into antivirus software, G DATA offers complete, comprehensive protection for end users as well as small- to large-sized businesses. G DATA products include Dual-Engine Scanning Technology, (G DATA CloseGap) Bank Guard SSL Protection, Patch Management, Device Control & Management, Application Control, a Web Accessible Enterprise Management Console, Web Content Filtering, and Managed Android Security. G DATA security solutions are available worldwide in more than 90 countries.

For more information about the company and their security solutions, please visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Julia McGavran
G DATA Software, Inc.
+1 (703) 390-1512
Email >
Visit website