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Stay safe from email fraud this holiday season

December marks the winding down of the business year and the start of the “silly season”, as people sit back and enjoy the festive period. But festive shopping also poses excellent opportunities for cybercriminals - especially those who specialize in email fraud.


Everyone loves a gift, but many appealing emails turn out to be nothing but an empty promise. In most cases, this unhappy chain of events starts with a user clicking on an authentic looking email that creates a sense of urgency by implying that there was some problem with a recent purchase or a bill or limited time offer.


In a recent article, Garret O’Harra, a principal consultant at Mimecast, warns consumers not to get too happy-go-lucky with sharing personal and credit card information when buying last minute gifts online.


Here’s what Garret suggests every corporate IT manager should be reminding employees of this holiday season. Keep these tips in mind to keep your inbox safe and your data secure.


  1. Pay attention! It’s really that simple. It doesn’t take a technical mastermind to carry out a hack – a cyber attacker just needs to access basic data, usually available to the public online.
  2. If it seems suspicious, it probably is. If you receive an email that contains tracking information from a postal service, but you aren’t expecting a shipment, stop!
  3. Everyone’s a target – but some have a public bullseye. If your name and contact information are listed on the company’s website, you need to be extra vigilant and on the lookout for attacks.
  4. Think before you share. Cyber attacks are not random. They are well-researched and usually architected using the information you share online. Hackers research these sites to gather intel on unsuspecting victims – this is called Social Engineering.
  5. Don’t be a follower. If you receive an email from a bank or financial institution requesting your credentials, don’t click the link – it could be malicious.



**Source: Everyone loves a gift, but many appealing-looking emails turn out to be lumps of coal.



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Tags: Cybersecurity

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