The holiday shopping season is mere days old and already consumers have shown their willingness to make purchases on the web. While such shopping habits makes it easier to find the best price for the right gift, experts warn it also leaves consumers vulnerable to the many security threats cybercriminals have planned for the holidays.
A recent USA Today report acknowledged that such issues will be compounded for mobile enterprises, as many employees are likely to browse retailers' sites during regular work hours. Considering many companies support personally owned devices, the increase in threats alongside mobile shopping could present myriad data security issues.
"Cybercriminals are actively trying to leverage mobile devices as part of their attacks," John Pironti, an adviser with industry organization ISACA, told the newspaper. "The holiday season provides them a perfect time to test out new attacks."
There are various techniques mobile users can employ in order to steer clear of data security threats. By following them and knowing what to look for, mobile consumers can ensure they enjoy a safe online shopping experience.
On Black Friday, according to research firm comScore, online sales jumped 26 percent to reach $816 million. In 2010, ecommerce spending topped out at $648 million on Black Friday. Total sales for Cyber Monday could be even higher once the statistics are analyzed, as many retailers tailor promotions and deals for online shopping that day.
Research conducted by the ISACA revealed that the average person plans to spend about 32 hours online shopping this holiday season, according to USA Today. Among that time spent, 18 hours are expected to take place on a mobile device that is split between work and personal use, the survey found.
Should an end user accidentally infect his or her device while mobile shopping, the virus could then spread to the enterprise network once the smartphone or tablet in question is connected.
"The real concern going forward is that once connected to a corporate network, there is a risk the phones could steal information previously secured behind a firewall," Matthew Prince, a CEO in the Internet security industry, told USA Today.
This holiday season, mobile users should be on the lookout for any number of threats. But, according to the Washington Examiner, the most common could be phishing scams looking to snare consumers who are looking for a good deal.
"People want the best deal," John Everett, spokesman for the National White Collar Crime Center, said, according to the Examiner. "When they see the best deal, it's a knee-jerk reaction to jump on it."
Nikki Junker, the social media coordinator for the Identity Theft Resource Center, told the newspaper that fake charities looking for donations are also common scams this time of year.
Consumerization News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro