Holiday Hacking Why Its Common and How to Prevent It

By Ernest Hamilton , Updated Nov 30, 2020 10:31 PM EST
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Holiday Hacking Why Its Common and How to Prevent It
(Photo: Holiday Hacking Why Its Common and How to Prevent It)

After the crazy year you've had, you're most likely looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. The holidays are the perfect time to kick back, relax and, of course, spend time on your computer.

However, did you know that you have a higher chance of getting hacked during the holidays? It's true.

Hackers see the holiday season as an opportunity to take advantage of unwitting users by exposing them to malicious software (malware). Malware can harm your PC by infecting its files or software. Accidentally downloading malware can hinder your computer's efficiency and compromise essential pieces of information, such as your:

  • Online activity

  • Personal information

  • Financial information

You're probably wondering, "why and how are these hackers doing this?" and "what can I do to prevent it?".

To find out, be sure to continue reading.

Why Are the Holidays So Popular for Cyber-Attackers?

There are several reasons why the holidays are a prime time for hacking; however, one of the most apparent factors is the increased user density.

Hackers know that the average user spends more time on their computer during the holidays. Some reasons for this include:

  • Shopping for gifts

  • Researching gifts

  • Sending virtual holiday cards

  • Additional free time

  • Making travel plans

Increased user density gives hackers more opportunities to gather data. After obtaining your data, hackers can then sell it to third parties or potentially use it to steal your identity.

How Do Hackers Obtain My Data?

Hackers have several methods for collecting personal and financial data from unsuspecting users. Some common methods include:

  • Spyware

  • Keylogging

  • Pharming

However, one of the most effective and commonly seen methods is phishing. For those that don't know, phishing is a term that describes the act of tricking a user into sharing valuable information via a digital platform.

Phishing is often done by attaching a malicious link to spam emails. The hacker will usually alter the email to make it look like it came from a trusted or familiar source.

When users click on the link, they are encouraged to type in their personal information on a fake website. Some examples include:

  • Banking info

  • Usernames and passwords to social media accounts

  • Personal info (name, birthdate, address)

How Can I Protect My Computer from Hackers?

The simplest way to protect your PC and your data from hackers is by downloading a trusted, proactive Windows antivirus program that can defend your device against a wide array of cyber threats without slowing down your computer.

Most premium antivirus programs can detect and block out dangerous phishing scams that can compromise your personal information.

If you happen to click on a compromised link, these programs will stop you from entering the site, thus, preventing the cyber-attack.

If you'd like to like to protect yourself from phishing scams, you should consider downloading a program that automatically scans your computer for compromised or suspicious files. Doing this will allow you to spend more time enjoying your holidays and less time worrying about cyber-attacks.

Protecting your PC from cyber-attacks isn't as complicated as it might sound; all you have to do is know the signs and download high-quality antivirus software.

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