We talked about cyber security for business owners in general last week, and that’s all applicable to the entire year, including the holiday season. But this time of year, there tend to be a few more things you should be on the lookout for as a small business owner. Here are some cyber security concerns you may encounter during the holidays:
- Holiday Phishing Scams – Phishing attacks email or malicious websites in order to collect personal and financial information. According to McAfee, a popular holiday phishing scam involves a phony notice from UPS saying you have a package and need to fill out an attached form to get it delivered. The form will likely ask for personal or financial information and once you fill it out it’s sent to a cyberscammer.
- Fake holiday cards – You may get all kinds of electronic holiday greeting cards or even gift cards from clients and customers. These can be used to install Malware and other destructive software to your computer. Many e-cards look genuine and authentic so be very careful when considering if you should click on them. If you use an E-Card service to send out cards make sure it’s a reputable one.
- PC Support Fraud – Criminals attempt to gain access to your computer by calling you claiming to be from large legitimate corporations, saying you have a problem with your computer, and then they either ask for a payment to fix your computer or ask you to download a software patch. In the first case they will steal your credit cards details and in the second case, they will infect your computer with spyware or malware that will provide access to your machine bandwidth to support other attacks.
- Suspicious communication – Links in email, tweets, social networking posts, text messages and online advertising are a way cybercriminals can compromise your devices if you click on them. Even if you know the source, it’s best to delete it if it looks suspicious.
- Hotel Malware Emails – If you’re like many small business owners, you may have to travel some for work during the holidays. Scammers try to take advantage of this fact and have designed travel-related scams in the form of dangerous emails. One example involves a scammer sending out emails that appeared to be from a hotel and claiming that a “wrong transaction” had been found on the recipient’s credit card. It provided an attached refund form that downloaded malware onto computers when opened.
No one wants to deal with cyber security problems, especially during the holiday season. Be on the lookout for these things to hopefully avoid any potential problems.