Why Hackers Love the Holidays

December 5, 2023

Introduction

The winter holidays are here. Snow is in the air, and so is that magical feeling. The comfort and warmth of blazing fireplaces, delicious food, and loved ones all around bring us the kind of joy and comfort we only associate with the colder months of the year. It’s one of the happiest times of the year!

Not if cybercriminals get a say in how your holiday goes. They know that all of that excitement (and stress!) can get to your head, which is why they’re putting in the work too…only hackers have something much sinister to give you than your family and friends.

Wintertime has higher rates of cybercrime than any other season!

Winter Brings Cyber-Storms

Did you know? Ransomware attacks skyrocket by 70% during the winter season. From November through January, you’re even more at risk of becoming the target, and victim, of threat actors and their cyber-attacks.

To put the danger into perspective, on a regular day, cybercriminals around the world attempt 1.7M ransomware attacks. That’s already a high chance that they could be after you…and it gets even higher when the winter holidays come around. It’s not just blizzards that can ruin your day!

Why Winter Brings Cyberattacks

So why do we seem to be more vulnerable to threat actors in the colder months? It’s not just because the temperature is keeping us all inside and online…

  • People are more likely to be online during the winter. The holidays are a time when people are more likely to be online shopping, using social media, and playing games while they’re off work and school. This gives cybercriminals more opportunities to target us all!
  • People are more likely to be careless with their personal information during the holiday season. People are often stressed and distracted during the holidays, which can make them more likely to click on phishing links or give out their personal information to scammers.
  • Cybercriminals are more active during the winter months. This is because they know that people are more likely to be online and careless with their personal information during this time of year, so they log on accordingly.

Vigilance goes a long way toward keeping you and your systems safe! Just knowing about the kinds of scams and schemes that are out there, and when they are most active against you, can be the difference between an attack and an actual data breach.

Conclusion

Nobody wants to sully the holidays with a data breach or spending even more money than we already do this time of year. Gift-giving can be stressful and time consuming, but it’s always better to slow down and make sure the websites you’re using are legitimate and secure before you make an account or input any financial information.

It’s not just YOU that could be put at risk…

If you order gifts on your personal devices, it can have a domino effect on your entire home network, potentially even spreading to local devices and other accounts on the same system. Now it’s a nightmare celebration for everyone to remember! If you are sending packages long-distance, it’s also very common to input the recipient’s home address and information instead of your own. You don’t want to send a loved one a fake, cheap or nonexistent gift and compromise their personal information in the process.

Keep yourself and your loved ones more secure all year round. Stay vigilant and safeguard your private data with the care it deserves.

References

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