Cybercriminals Celebrate – It’s Mothers Day!!

Like all doting daughters, I adore my mother. However, I have to confess – I haven’t yet purchased her well-deserved Mother’s Day gift. But I am not short of gift suggestions, no way. In fact, I have an inbox full of emails offering me fabulous gift options from knives to nighties. So all is well, right??

Noooo!!! Mother’s Day email scams just seem to be get nastier each year as cybercriminals get slicker and smarter. And with business analysts IBISWorld predicting Aussies will spend almost $1.4 billion spoiling our mums this year, it is no wonder the cybercrooks are putting in the effort!

Cybercriminals work very hard to catch consumers off guard. They love the fact we are time poor and often operate last minute (yep – that’s me!). So they have developed lucrative strategies to take advantage of time poor and frazzled consumers. Here are some of their top ‘phishing’ tricks:

  • They send you an enticing email, usually with a great deal. To take advantage of the deal, you need to click on the link which actually contains malware and NOT a great deal. The malware means the cybercrimes could get access to your computer and see everything you are typing.
  • Again, they use email and send you a great offer. The link in the email takes you to a fraudulent site where you enter your credit card details but NEVER receive the goods. And it gets better – your card is then used by the cybercrime to purchase goods and quite often new cards are opened in your name!!!!

So, do you have to join the ridiculous queues at Westfield to secure your mum a gift? Not at all, here are some online shopping tips that will ensure you purchase a great gift and stay safe:

  1. Be VERY wary of offers that are too good to be true—they usually are!!
  2. Don’t clink on links in emails or texts from someone you don’t know.
  3. Retype links into your browser to make sure they are the real deal.
  4. ALWAYS be suspicious when you receive an email or text message from a company asking for personal information—legitimate companies do not ask for personal information in emails or texts.
  5. Never share your credit card over email, ever. No Exceptions.
  6. Pay securely. A secure address begins with https:// or an image of a padlock will appear in the bottom right corner of your browser window.
  7. Download (free) McAfee® SiteAdvisor® that will show you in your browser search results if a site is safe or not.
  8. Always use comprehensive security software on all your devices that includes anti-spam and malware protection.

And with all the cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, canteen duty and homework editing mums do, it is in everyone’s interests to make sure Mother’s Day goes VERY smoothly. So, ignore the malicious links and dodgy websites and buy your mum something she will love!

Hope you’re reading this boys!!

Alex xx

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