The_First_Thanksgiving_cph.3g04961Avira TechBlog: Thanksgiving and according holidays are very close – a time in which many people have the time to do (online) shopping. The cyber criminals are eager for their share, so it’s time to remember some safety measures.

We are expecting to see spam and phishing campaigns luring the recipients to visit malicious web sites. These web sites usually look quite legal and official. As precaution, don’t follow links from emails to online stores and online payment systems, but use bookmarks or type in the addresses directly into the browser’s address bar. And of course just visit shops which you already know. Some scams can be identified by very low prices – if they look too good to be true, they usually are!

Another scheme we often see is Search Engine Poisoning. While searching for some products, the cyber criminals either buy advertisements on the search engine or abuse the search engine so their malicious web sites are ranked high and show up among the first search results. Here it is helpful to have a webfilter in place which warns of known spam, phishing and rogue web sites; most web browsers have a basic filter built-in, so make sure to have it activated. Avira AntiVir Premium and Avira Premium Security Suite offer a even more sophisticated WebGuard to protect users from harmful web sites.

Yet another method to squeeze money out of victims used by cyber criminals is infecting them with faked anti virus solutions. These are for example hidden as updates or needed video codecs on web sites and either are installed by the user or by security vulnerabilities in installed software like the web browser, the PDF reader, Flash Player or Java. Thus safety can be increased by making sure to only use the latest software versions and to install all available updates from within the software – there usually is an update check integrated. Also, using a anti malware solution like the basic protection of Avira AntiVir Personal or solutions with many more protection layers like Avira AntiVir Premium or the Suite will help avoiding infections.

Knowing about these threats will help enjoying the holidays and the time with the beloved.