With Cyber Monday just one week away, learn more about how consumers feel about the security of online shopping and what you can do to help prevent your data being stolen.
Tag: cyber monday
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday frenzy. With the allure of Cyber Monday markdowns, it’s easy to forget to use proper precautions when shopping online. Everyone expects that all the ecommerce sites are safe, but there is always the possibility of getting tricked into visiting a website managed by cybercriminals. Here are a couple things to be mindful of as you shop online this weekend.
Consumers have endless choices of where to shop this holiday season and your store – whether brick & mortar or online— must stand out. A well-designed, easy to use website is critical in cutting through the clutter to attract holiday shoppers and drive them to make a purchases. Unfortunately, the same features that improve user experience and retain customers can leave your website vulnerable to a cyber attack and pose a significant threat to your business.
Happy Cyber Monday! If your website has survived the Thanksgiving rush, let’s hope it doesn’t suffer from a post-Thanksgiving malware hangover. Because in the usual run up to Christmas, the only people busier than elves are hackers. And their favorite tool this year appears to be malware. What’s a website to do without trusted malware removal?
We took a look at many of the top security stories to hit the headlines in just the last couple of weeks, and it’s not surprising that most of them were about malware.
Security firm Symantec says that hackers have recently been very successful in delivering a nasty gift of malware to unsuspecting users by blasting out emails pretending to be antivirus software updates. What makes the emails so convincing, according to Symantec, is that they look very authentic and incorporate logos from most of the popular antivirus products – probably even those that you use. Because most users are likely to be familiar with the brands and use at least one of them, it makes the email appear more personal and genuine. And therefore more likely to be opened. And clicked – which is what causes the most damage.
Security firm Trusteer also announced that it discovered some of the most advanced financial malware yet, malware that not only has more features than any previous malware, but also creates a private and secure communications channel back to the hackers behind it. According to Trusteer, the malware can steal information entered into web forms as well as steal log-in credentials from dozens of the most popular FTP clients.
And this is especially dangerous to small businesses in the U.S. If this malware is able to steal the login and password for your business bank account, it will very quickly empty that account. And small business accounts are not protected by zero liability. So if the thieves steal every last dime you have in the bank account, you’re out of luck. And maybe even out of business.
To add to the misery, Trend Micro also reported that it discovered more than 200,000 different types of malware targeted at online banking in just the third quarter of this year, with at least 25% of them targeted at U.S. banks.
One of the most dangerous pieces of malware in circulation right now is Cryptolocker. This is ransomware. Once it infects your computer, it will encrypt or lock your files and then demand a ransom to unlock them so you can use them again. The ransom can vary, from $300 to more than $3,000. And even if you pay the ransom, chances are you still won’t get your data back. And thousands of users have fallen victim. Even one police department admitted that Cryptolocker had managed to kidnap their data.
And not to be left out, researchers have discovered that even the NSA has turned to malware to do their job, infecting at least 50,000 with a botnet that will allow them to spy on those computers.
So if website malware scanning and defense is not on your Holiday to-do list, it might be a good time to update that list. After all, it’s supposed to be the season of cheer.
Every day is an important day for business, and especially for security. While most shoppers sleep, hackers never do, and it only takes one day or one vulnerability to mess a whole lot of things up for your online business.
As Thanksgiving weekend approaches, your customers may be gearing up to make some big purchases. And how safe and secure they feel about your website could determine how much of their hard-earned cash will end up in your pocket.
With the growing popularity of the Internet over the past decade, the retail holiday Cyber Monday debuted in 2005 as the online version of Black Friday. It quickly became one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, and by 2011 consumers were spending $1.25 billion online on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
- 25% of U.S. consumers’ spending during the holiday season is through an online retailer
- It is estimated that throughout the 2012 holiday season, online shoppers will spend over $54 billion, an increase of almost 17% from last year
While this influx of holiday shoppers purchasing gifts for themselves and loved ones is great for online businesses, there are risks that come along with the rewards. Santa’s not the only one sneaking around this season; website hackers are on-the-go and they’re bringing something even worse than lumps of coal – viruses, malware and more.
- There are over 1.5 million victims of cyber-attacks each day – that’s 18 per second!
- SiteLock partner, CloudFlare, found that eCommerce sites reported a 45% increase in attack traffic directed at them last Cyber Monday.
So, what can you do to make sure you’re as safe as possible on Cyber Monday?
If you’re the owner of an online business, it’s important to stay proactive about protecting your online reputation.
- Make sure you have the proper protection plan in place for your website’s size and complexity.
- If your business accepts credit cards as a form of payment, be sure that you are PCI compliant to avoid facing fines and jeopardizing the privacy of your customers’ financial data.
- If your site is already safe and secure, display a security badge (such as the SiteLock Trust Seal), to show your visitors that you care about their safety and increase your sales conversions.
If you are a consumer shopping online, make sure you know what signs to look for to avoid falling into a hacker’s trap.
- Beware of unsolicited emails that look like a coupon or promotion from a company; they could be a phishing scam that attempts to steal your credit card information. Before you open an email that looks like a coupon or promotion, check the sender’s address to make sure it doesn’t look suspicious.
- When shopping on a website, make sure that the company’s URL is secure. If the URL starts with “HTTPS” it is a secure site; if not, your information may be susceptible to data mining.
- If you discover an online store that’s offering unbelievable sale specials, do some research to make sure that it is not a fake front that will disappear later in the day. Use online business reviews or social sites to check the legitimacy of these stores before you provide them with any of your information.
- Beware of links from your friends through emails and social media sites. They could come from your closest friend, but your friend may be unaware that their accounts have been compromised. By clicking these links, you may be visiting a malware-infected website that installs viruses on your computer and phishes for your private data.
For questions regarding your safety online, the SiteLock Expert Services team is happy to answer any questions you may have! Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 877-257-9263.