The holidays are a time for giving gifts, spending time with family, and relaxing in front of a warm fire.
These fun activities tend to make people forget that there is a digital threat looming over every household: malicious software (often shortened to malware).
For those who don’t know, malware is a type of software that infects your device and compromises your data. There are several ways that you can accidentally expose your device to malware, one of them being malicious emails.
There are several types of malicious emails that pose different threats to your device and data. Thankfully, you can protect your device from malicious emails by downloading a premium antivirus program.
Modern antivirus programs can target a wide variety of threats from potential and known cyber-attackers. These programs do so by proactively scanning your files for signs of suspicious activity.
Best of all, most cybersecurity companies offer a premium antivirus for Mac and PC, meaning that you can protect your device from malicious emails, regardless of your brand preferences.
However, even after downloading a reliable antivirus program for your device, it’s still best if you take the time to understand how malicious emails work. Doing this will help you avoid falling victim to one of the following cyber-scams:
Phishing email scams
Although email phishing scams are an issue throughout the year, they are particularly prevalent during the holidays. This is most likely because hackers know that the average user spends more time on their smart devices during this time of year.
Hackers generally use email phishing scams to obtain an unwitting user’s personal data or track their digital activity. Hackers can use this information to commit identity fraud or sell it to a third party for a lucrative sum.
You may be wondering how email phishing scams work. In layman’s terms, hackers attach a malicious link to an email. This email is altered to look like it’s an advertisement for a company that most users are familiar with (a large chain, local business, etc.).
When a user clicks on the malicious link, they are prompted to enter their personal information, which is then sent to the hacker.
Thankfully, many modern antivirus programs can identify suspicious links and prevent users from entering compromised sites. Having a reliable antivirus program by your side can help save your holidays and your data.
Ransomware emails are similar to phishing emails in the sense that they occur over the same platform and are used for nearly identical purposes.
However, ransomware is quite different because it downloads itself onto your device. This gives hackers the ability to access even more data.
Once this is done, the hacker will threaten to share or distribute the data unless the victim pays a handsome fee.
Although hackers generally use ransomware to target large companies and corporations, it’s also used to obtain information from everyday users during the holidays.
Aside from downloading high-quality antivirus software, you should avoid opening any unexpected emails from unfamiliar senders, especially during the holiday season. Doing this will make it nearly impossible for cyber-attackers to access your device or data.
Now that you know more about malicious emails, you can take the proper steps to protect yourself from them during the holiday season.