Convenience, ease, and better deals are just three of the reasons why more and more users shop online. Users’ level of adoption for online shopping has been increasing the past years. In fact, reports predict that there will be a 78% increase in the US shopper volume by 2014.
Mobile computing is also starting to play a bigger role in terms of online shopping, as 43% of all Web-enabled smartphone owners said they use their mobile devices to help them shop. This percentage will likely increase in the coming years, or even as soon as the next couple of months considering the upcoming holiday season.
As online shopping becomes widely preferred as a primary method for purchasing items, online shoppers will also become preferred cybercriminal attack targets. Cybercriminals are continuously launching attacks, any or all of the following shopper information: credit card credentials, online banking personal identification numbers, and other personal data. The attack types seen include:
- blackhat SEO attacks – search results for hot items such as gadgets and others can be poisoned to lead users to malicious sites
- scams – coming off as online promos, scams trick users into becoming victims of their malicious schemes that can lead to information and financial theft. A good example of this is a spam run we recently saw leveraging Black Friday.
- session hijacking – users who do their shopping while connected to unsecure networks put themselves at risk of this attack, which involves sniffing through networks for certain kinds of information such as account credentials, and using the said information to impersonate the users and execute actions
Shoppers need not be helpless against these attacks, however, as they can implement security measures and can use solutions that help them avoid being victimized. In our guide, “Online Shopping Safety Made Easy,” and infographic, “Online Shopping Tips,” we discuss things online shoppers need to know in order to protect themselves from online shopping-related attacks.
As we get closer to Christmas, instances of the above-mentioned threats increase in number, thus users need to keep themselves protected. For more information on threats leveraging the holidays, and for ways to prevent being victimized, check our reports, and our ebook:
- Season’s Warnings: iPhone 4S Scam and Other Holiday Threats
- Beware of Holiday-Themed Multi-component Online Threats
- Season’s Warnings