12 Scams of the Holidays
*This is a guest editorial post by McAfee
The holidays are just around the corner and while we’re busy buying gifts and making travel arrangements, cybercriminals are making their lists, and checking them twice, as they prepare to unleash a host of scams designed to take advantage of the seasonal surge in online shopping and sharing.
Since it only takes one scam to spoil your holiday season, it’s a good idea to get familiar with our list of the 12 Scams of the Holidays, and learn how to avoid them.
How to Protect Yourself Against Scams During the Holidays, and Year-Round:
Stay suspicious—Be wary of any offer that sounds too good to be true, and always look for telltale signs that an email or website may not be legitimate, such as blurry images, misspellings, poor grammar, or suspicious links.
Practice safe surfing—Find out if a website is potentially dangerous before you click on it by using a safe search plug-in such as McAfee SiteAdvisor® software. SiteAdvisor software displays easy-to-read red, yellow, and green checkmarks to rate websites when you search for them.
Practice safe shopping—Stick to reputable e-commerce sites and look for a trustmark that indicates that the site has been verified as safe by a trusted third-party, like the McAfee SECURE™ trustmark. Also, look for a lock symbol and “https” at the beginning of the web address (as opposed to just “http”) to verify the site uses encryption to protect the information transferred to the website. For more safe shopping tips view our guide to safe holiday shopping.
Use strong passwords—Create strong passwords, avoid using the same password for your important accounts, and never share your passwords with anyone. To learn more about creating foolproof passwords, go here.
Be careful when clicking—Don’t click on any links in messages from people you don’t know, and if you come across a shortened URL, use a URL expander to see where the link is directed to before you click.
Use a comprehensive computer security—You need complete protection that includes antivirus, antispyware, and antispam, and then make sure it stays up-to-date. McAfee® All Access helps you protect all of your devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.
Educate yourself—Keep current on the latest scams and tricks cybercriminals use so you can avoid potential attacks.