Gearing Up For Shopping Season? So Are Holiday HackersThe onset of the global health emergency caused users everywhere to live, work, play, and buy through their devices – maybe more than ever before. McAfee’s survey shows that general shopping activity has increased, with 49% of respondents stating they are buying online more since the onset of COVID-19. As one could predict, researchers expect these online shopping habits to bleed into the holiday shopping season. In fact, 36% of Americans note that they plan on using digital links to give gifts and spread cheer this year. However, this increase in online activity doesn’t exactly mean an increase in online safety.
Hackers love to take advantage of online trends, so it’s no surprise that they see an increase in online activity as more opportunities to spread threats. In fact, McAfee Labs observed an almost 12% increase in online threats per minute in Q2 2020 compared to the previous quarter.
Increased online activity serves as the perfect opportunity for hackers to interrupt consumers’ merriment and spread malicious misdeeds. And 36% of consumers noted that their online buying habits will increase this holiday season, even though they are aware of cyber risks. This lack of concern is troublesome, especially as hackers get stealthier in how they scam consumers. Take Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts, for example. Forty-three percent of survey respondents admitted to not checking the authenticity of these so-called deals when going through their emails and text messages. By not taking proper security precautions, users potentially open themselves up to a blizzard of cyberthreats.