Don’t Let Holiday Scams Ruin Your Cheer!

Holiday Scams

Happy Holiday Season! While we know this is the most wonderful time of the year, this can also be the most wonderful time for scammers to take advantage of businesses’ vulnerabilities. We recently attended a seminar from one of our partners, ID Agent, in which they provided some great insight on holiday scams and how to protect your business.

Patterns Lead To Predictability

A lot of people rely on routines and patterns to keep themselves productive, many individuals on our team included. Having patterns can be beneficial and comforting, but they can also benefit hackers who are paying attention to these patterns. Hackers know that almost all businesses take time off during the holidays, especially around Christmas and New Year’s. Since they know you will most likely be short-staffed around this time, they will use that to their advantage and strategize when to strike.

Popular Holiday Scams

To no one’s surprise, most holiday scams revolve around shopping. Individuals receive an increase of emails around the holidays and these scams can look like many legitimate sources. They may come in the form of a deal or coupon, they may look like a shipping update or information request, and they may even impersonate a charity asking for donations.

We’re all human and usually work from a place of emotion. If you receive an email from your favorite brand offering 80% off, you’ll probably feel a jolt of excitement and want to click it. If you receive an email saying your Amazon package has had a shipping error and needs further information, the odds you ordered something from Amazon recently are high. If you receive an email with a picture of sad kittens in need of your help, you’ll probably want to offer up your credit card information.

This is exactly what scammers are hoping for. They make the correspondence feel urgent, meaning you won’t feel like you have the time to consider the email, but that is where extra security awareness around the holidays becomes important.

Where Are These Scams?

One of the scariest parts about these hacks and scams is that they don’t always target one specific area electronically or physically. With so many hybrid workers, scammers are taking advantage of hitting both the office and the home. They also may come in other forms besides emails. Smishing (scams through text messages) and scam phone calls also increase around these times.

We know we just included a lot of frightening information, but don’t worry! There are multiple ways to stop from falling prey to these scams.

Increase Your Security During These Times

Any device or person using the internet involves danger, but we’ve compiled a list of multiple ways you can increase your security during these times and stay safe.

  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication for everything. While people may find it annoying to always have to double-check when they log into an account, it is worth it.
  • Actual attacks usually happen on a holiday day when people aren’t looking. Consider doing quick checks of your systems on the days of Holidays to make sure nothing suspicious is occurring. 
  • Increase overall security. Educate staff with data and examples, phishing simulations, and reward employees for following security guidelines.
  • Consider getting Cyber Insurance. This is good to have should something happen.

Get IT Support To Help!

You don’t have to go it alone! Symmetric IT Group is here to provide all the security you need, during the holiday times and beyond them. We can implement a custom security stack, train your employees, implement data backup and disaster recovery, consult on your cyber insurance, launch MFA, and more. Let our cybersecurity experts take things off your plate so you can enjoy the holidays! Book a free security audit today.

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