Online shopping around the holidays has increased 10 percent since the same time in 2010, to around $30.9 billion dollars spent thus far in the season, according to a report by comScore. Specifically days like Cyber Monday, which raked in $1.25 billion, and Free Shipping Day, which totalled around $1.72 billion, draw people away from store windows to open up computer windows. Indeed four days this season have seen over $1 billion in spend each.
According to security company F-Secure, cyber criminals are particular alert during these periods of mass spend, and will quietly steal more than $10 million of a total $60 billion in expected sales.
Let’s break this down, though. If online holiday shoppers make up 148 million people, who then spend $60 billion in total, and the amount of money taken by cyber criminals equals $10 million, really, that’s a cost of around 6 cents each. The problem arises, however, when individuals are targeted for larger sums, while others are left alone.
In order to make sure you’re not one of the targeted ones, F-Secure recommends visiting sites directly, instead of using search engines. That is to say, type www.bestbuy.com into the address bar, instead of doing a Google search for the site. This is because of a redirect scam, where criminals take a link to a legitimate website and redirect you to a website that may act just like the site you intended to visit, but is actually monitored by a thief.
There are 35 reported cyber attacks every hour, according to F-Secure. Check out the infographic below for more information on holiday cyber crime and how you can protect yourself.