The Holiday shopping season has begun, “Early Black Friday Deals”, “Get A $200 Macy’s Store Credit” (a recent scam event on Facebook stating Macy’s was giving away thousands of in-store credits worth thousands of dollars with over 29K people duped), and more. Phishing scams and virus exploits are at their high during this time of year, which roughly runs from the middle of November to the end of April (Holiday Shopping through Tax Season).
Be very cautious with any links that you click on in emails, or things you like, share or “join” on Facebook and other social media sites. Tips for staying secure during this time:
Hover over links – does the site say something like https://www.thecompanyname.com or is it something like https://companyname.someothersite.com, or maybe www.somethingsimple.pz? If it’s not the company’s official website, more than likely, it’s not them and instead a phishing scam
When you click a link, what does the address bar at the top of the site say?
If you are entering credit card information, or logging into a site, does the site have an HTTPS at the beginning with a lock symbol? If not, don’t do it! You can also click on the lock symbol to make sure everything is secure on that site.
But the site has a security emblem on the webpage saying it’s secure. Don’t do it. There are things called Cross Site Scripting vulnerabilities that can redirect your information elsewhere, and you won’t know till it’s too late.