Be online savvy this Christmas; ESET

ESET’s gift to its users this Christmas is the gift of knowledge, as it shares defences against 12 threats

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Be online savvy this Christmas; ESET Security analysts ESET are warning online shoppers to protect themselves this festive season
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  December 20, 2016

With Christmas approaching and festive soon beginning, security analysts ESET are warning online shoppers to protect themselves and not fall victim to an online attack.

ESET has provided a checklist of 12 threats to look out for.

1. Phishing
Phishing attacks usually occur via email and see users receive an authentic-looking email from a bank or organisation luring them to enter their personal details on a similarly authentic-looking website.

2. Adware
You may have noticed that after you search for an item online, it starts to pop up on other websites you visit. This is known as adware, and is customised for users and may be monitored by spyware. While one may think these adverts are there to remind users to complete their Christmas shopping, the innocence of the pop-up is questionable.

3. Mobile malware
If there's one piece of technology that gets a lot of usage of the festive period, it's the mobile phone. Unfortunately, it's no safer than desktops or tablets, as mobiles store personal and sensitive information which has caused a rise in mobile malware.

4. Smishing
Most of us are aware of phishing attempts over email but what about phishing attempts over SMS? Typically, one will receive an SMS apparently from a trusted source - like Apple or a friend - advising users to click on a link and enter personal details. However, that SMS is forged and not from that trusted source at all.

5. Identity theft
Simple details about one's lifestyle can allow a cybercriminal to gather personal information and even trick users into giving out more. Social media websites are a gold mine of information for identity thieves.

6. Spyware
Spyware can monitor users' keystrokes, read files, access applications and more - transmitting all the information back to the person that controls the spyware.

7. Spam
If shoppers been busy ordering all their Christmas gifts online, they may find themselves receiving even more unwanted emails than usual. Most of us receive spam, and although it's not always something to worry about, it can be used to send malware.

8. Pharming
Like phishing, pharming is a type of online fraud but doesn't require user to click on a bogus link sent via email. Instead, a user is redirected to a malicious site - despite having typed the correct web address.

9. Ransomware
It's a type of malware where cybercriminals encrypt a device/information, demanding victims pay to have their devices/information returned to them.

10. WiFi eavesdropping
Internet connections are not always secure, and that someone may be listening in and collecting your information. When transmitting payment details across unsecured networks, they can end up in the wrong hands.

11. DDoS attacks
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can take the fun out of things like online shopping and gaming as it makes a service unavailable after flooding it with traffic from multiple sources.

12. Password security
The importance of a secure password has never been greater. Cybercriminals crack passwords for so many reasons - whether it's to gather personal information about user or to commit fraud. If users receive a new device this Christmas, make sure to replace the default password with one that's more complex.

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