Diwali's buzz is in the air and so is the buzz among cybercriminals! Festivals are the opportune time for cybercriminals to launch cyber-attacks on avid internet shoppers using social engineering techniques.
If you are one of those who love the gamut of free gifts, freebies, offers, contest and discounts on offer over the internet, then beware! You could easily be tricked into surfing on to an infected website and end up unwittingly revealing your personal information that could result in serious compromise to your identity.
A little precaution and taking some safety measures while looking out for free gifts or discount coupons over the internet can bring in prosperity and happiness to your digital life.
McAfee has some recommendations to avoid possible cyber-threats and stay safe on lines on Diwali.
Tread cautiously on social media platforms because you never know your friend/ follower may actually turn out to be your foe! Some of the posts by your ‘friends' with links on contests, ads and special deals advertising for best and economic Diwali gifts, exclusive discounts at local stores, may be actually fake. These kinds of posts are generally distributed via hacked accounts, sending alerts to the entire ‘friends list'.
Cyber-crooks masquerade genuine looking social ads and deals on Twitter and other social networking platforms with links that navigate users to malicious sites. Once the victim reaches the malicious site, he may be asked for his personal information like shopper's credit card number, email address, phone number or home address in order to avail the discounts, contests and hot deals. Sharing of such personal information over the internet is extremely dangerous.
Downloading Mobile applications without double checking on its authenticity could steal information stored in your phone. Such malicious applications can even send out premium-rate text messages and increasing your phone bills without your knowledge
Travelling to be with your family on Diwali? Beware of authentic looking Travel WebPages which are actually phony with too-good-to-be-true deals. These can actually wipe out your bank account if you get hooked to their lucrative offers and end up sharing financial details to strike the deal.
Be doubly careful while choosing e-cards and online gift cards for your loved ones on Diwali or buying gifts from e-commerce sites. They can be malicious and may have spyware or viruses that download onto your computer as you click on the link.
Spam emails, "SMiShing" (phishing via text message) are to be looked out for. The scammer tries to lure you into revealing information or performing an action you normally wouldn't do by pretending to be a legitimate organization. If you one does receive such scam emails in their inbox, the best approach is to follow safe computing practices and delete these emails immediately. Charity on Diwali may be auspicious but not for your wallet. Be alert to spot spam emails advertising fake charities.
Common sense and discipline on the Internet will go a long way in ensuring a happy Diwali for you and your loved ones.