Consumers will lose $10M to cyber crime this holiday season

Over $10 million will be intercepted by cyber criminals this holiday season, as consumers turn toward the Internet for their presents.

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 http://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.

F-Secure Holiday Infographic

Christmas creepy crawly via Shutterstock

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