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Online Scams to be aware of this holiday season

    Categories: Security

The holidays are coming and with it comes a boom for online shopping. Cyber theives are well aware of this fact and have a number of scams that they use on victims. It time to take extra care not to fall into these scams. So here are a few common ones that are used. (Prevention is better than cure.)

1 ) Holiday Cards – With more people opting to send Christmas and New Year cards online, instead of the traditional ones. Scams involve sending cards with malicious software embeded that can steal info from your computer or other malware that  gets installed on the computer. Make sure you open cards only from people you know and from reputed sites. Check links before clicking on them & do not download cards onto your computer.

2 ) Online Shopping – Buy from reputed sites. There are many scam sites that operate during the holiday season, promising cheap rates on gifts. These sites might not deliver the goods or worse might steal your credit card information and then misuse it. Paypal offers another layer of security while paying by not divulging your credit card information to online shops. Use this method if offered.

3 ) Downloading Christmas Carols – Its common for sites to appear promising to let you download christmas carols. These  files might be infected with malware. Either buy music from online stores, like iTunes or download it off Youtube. Read our post on How to save MP3 audio files from Youtube videos.

4 ) Email Scams – These are very common but they come with a new twist now. You might get emails that look like they came from reputed courier companies. The content will day that you have a parcel that needs to be delivered. In order to have it delivered you need to provide your credit card info… Another common type of email scam are ones that look like they came from banks asking you to login or provide information to prove your ownership of the account. Avoid these, if you feel it might be an original email, do not click the links, instead manually open the website and login to check if there is some notice. The links given in the email might point you to fake sites that look like the real one.

5 ) Charitable Scams – Christmas is the season for giving, hundreds of charitable sites popup during this time asking you to donate. You might actually just be donating money and your credit cad info instead ! Again do some research on the organization or go with well known ones if you aren’t sure.

Online Scams to be aware of this holiday season
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Alfred M :Alfred is a Pilot & Tech blogger from Bangalore, India. He has worked with DSL providers like AOL, SBC, Verizon & Covad as a tech specialist. Currently he is pursuing a career in aviation.