Look Out! Here Comes the Cyber Crook Man with His Gifts of Christmas Scams And Spams

Every year, millions of people await the end of year festivities and holidays with great enthusiasm and expectations. As the days to Thanksgiving become numbered, the holiday mood rises and people look forward to the year-end and go about their tasks with barely-controlled impatience. And why not- for ‘Tis the time to relax and be merry, to share, to get presents for your loved ones, to strengthen family bonds. What most kids look forward to is, without any doubt, the Christmas gifts Santa will be bringing them!

There has been a major shift in these gifts over the decades. From dolls and cars; board games and baseball sets- the popular demand has swayed towards electronic gadgets. Today kids look forward to receiving the latest versions of the Playstation, Wii, Nintendo, Xbox, iPod, iPad or a smartphone. They are very conversant with the computer, the touchscreen and the Internet and enjoy the variety offered by these devices. Just gift a preteen a Monopoly set and see for yourself.

Unfortunately, the cyber crooks are also aware of this and are wasting no time devising new spams and malware targeted at these gadgets. It has also been observed that there is a sharp rise in malware and cyber crimes during Christmas. And India, being a secular nation where all festivals are celebrated with equal zeal and gusto, has become a rich hunting ground for such crooks. A McAfee study has revealed that 70% of the surveyed Indians planned to shop online this Christmas! This immediately indicates (a) there is a rise in the use of Internet-enabled gadgets and (b) online shopping is catching on in India!

With online stores offering fabulous deals, tourism companies luring with unbelievable discounts and universities promising the sky, why would anyone think of queuing up outside shops, spending useless time and energy looking for gifts that might not be there after all? I certainly wouldn’t. I am one of those pioneer online shoppers, who have been ordering flowers and cakes for my loved ones on their birthday, booking hotels and flights online and even checking out dresses and furniture on e-bay. There are some safety rules I keep in mind that has helped me stay safe until now.

More on these and the scams in my next blog. Till then, enjoy the festivities and have some good family time to build stronger bonds with your kids. Remember, they watch how you bond with your parents and learn from you.

So stay safe, keep your devices secured and have a Merry Christmas everyone!secured

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