The biggest shopping weekend for the year reached a new all-time record for Black Friday sales with 20% more money spent than previous Black Fridays. Total sales value is in the billions of dollars, with $ 7.4billion making it the second largest online trading day ever.
Last year’s Cyber Monday takes out the top spot, but it’s expected to be surpassed this year with an estimated $9.4billion in sales expected so watch this space we’ll update this article when the final number is available. Of course, these eye-popping statistics won’t be pleasing Pope Francis who recently likened the busiest weekend in retail for the year to that of a ‘virus’, namely the ‘virus of consumerism’. Clearly, the message has not gotten through to Americans who consider shopping as part of their DNA.
More sales were recorded from mobiles, and Black Friday was also a top day for cyber-attacks according to Forbes who report records have been well and truly smashed out of the park. Forget 20 – 30%, cybercrime was up by a whopping 275%.
So were you or your business a victim of cybercrime? If so, let’s turn to prevention measure and how doing the basics can be enough to ward off common attacks. Before we cover the must-do tasks to keep safe online, let’s first look at how cybercrime reached record success.
Where Are The Cyber Attacks Occurring?
We all use email, so this is the perfect channel for phishing and fraudulent attacks. With the complexity of personalised data and common use of AI and automated data capture pages, cybercriminals are also using the same features to catch the unaware recipient out.
We all want that ‘too good to be true’ deal. Just maybe this time the 80% off the retail price is real, and by clicking the link in the email, the transaction is available to you. It’s only after you’ve clicked the relationship that you may realise the email is a scam and the connection has not taken you to an authentic site. Unfortunately, many recipients who open the fake emails and click the links also hand over their credit card details – and now their data is in the hands of criminals.
The advice from cyber experts is to not click links in emails around this time of year. Also to be vigilant when visiting sites that you’d normally go to by viewing the URL to check the site is not a fake duplicate site. Some cybercriminals may use your payment credentials immediately whereas other criminals may keep them for an attack later on. If you suspect you are a victim of credit card fraud alert your provider immediately.
How To Stay Safe Online
Businesses are doing all they can to protect their customer data and ensure their workplace has a cybersecurity culture.
While BYOD is commonplace, businesses have compliance requirements for their use in the workplace. Using anti-virus software that covers computer, i.e. device, email, and the web is a prerequisite for all workers.
Machine Learning Technology
Plus the business can take extra measures to ensure their data is not shared with their workers’ personal systems. Machine learning technology is helping fight cybercrime, and in particular, keep personalised data safe.
Data Encryption & Strong Passwords
Back to basics is the perfect starting point. All mobile and computer users need a strong password generator to keep their credentials out of the hands of criminals. Regularly updating passwords is also encouraged as well as using data encryption software, so if your data is stolen, it is encrypted and remains useless when it’s in the wrong hands.
There could be an element of luck or bad luck to being the victim of cybercrime. However, this time of year is particularly risky for clicking links in emails so maybe avoiding clicking links in emails is the best course of action. Getting a great deal is satisfying. As a business, you want your customers to get in on the action, so make it an activity that can be enjoyed and safe through offering extra security steps before requesting client data including payment details.