The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our world in countless ways. According to ESET researchers, one of the major changes that has caused and deserves special attention seems to be the increase in online shopping, as the ability of consumers to visit the physical spaces of the stores remains limited.
According to IBM data, the pandemic crisis has accelerated the transition from physical stores to digital markets by about five years, with e-commerce projected to grow by almost 20% in 2020.
Although this trend is positive in some respects, it has raised concerns about the security of consumer data and online transactions. Be that as it may, increased internet traffic gives scammers more opportunities to imitate trademarks and deceive users, who then unknowingly reveal their personal information, or open malicious email attachments, unknowingly downloading malicious software to their computers. In fact, when banking transactions and payments are involved, then it becomes even more dangerous.
That is why cyber fraud is one of the two central themes of the European Cyber Security Month for 2020. The European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) is a campaign dedicated to promoting the cyber security of citizens and organizations across Europe, organized every October by the European Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA) and the European Commission.
ECSM’s goal is to inform the public about current and most frequent and potential cyber threats and to highlight the simple steps one can take to protect one’s personal, financial and business data. The actions take place throughout Europe and include workshops, educational conferences, online seminars, presentations, and more.
Actions related to the “online scams” section will focus on phishing, business email scams and online scams. The aim is to raise the awareness of businesses and consumers about the risks involved when trading online and how these risks can be minimized.
According to researchers at international cybersecurity firm ESET, there are a number of simple steps users can take to enhance their protection when shopping online.
“The first step is to make sure of the origin of the emails you receive, no matter how official or secure an email looks”
«Avoid clicking on links and attachments in any message that appears suspicious to you and go directly to the website of the company that allegedly sent you the email to see its credentials.“
“It is also extremely important to enable –where possible– two-factor authentication (2FA). This will add an important protection shield to your online accounts. This ensures that, even if fraudsters manage to steal your password, they will not be able to gain easy access to your accounts without also stealing the 2FA password.”
You can visit the European Cyber Security Month website where you will find useful information on how to protect yourself from online fraud, as well as on actions to be carried out across Europe as part of the cyber security awareness campaign.
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