UK workers are set to spend a total of £650m online today, racking up a whopping 96 million hours buying Christmas presents during working hours, according to the Post Office.
And four in five UK adults (78 per cent) plan to buy presents online this year, with today – Cyber Monday – being the busiest of them all.
But security firms Tripwire and AppRiver questioned 2,011 consumers from the US and UK to check their cybersecurity awareness, and found them severely lacking. According to the findings of the research, 26 per cent of respondents believed links in subscription emails and newsletters are safe, with 28 per cent believing it is never safe to click on email shopping links.
And the research also backed up the Post Office’s claims, revealing that 24 per cent of those questioned planned to do at least some of their Christmas shopping at work.
Dwayne Melancon, CTO at Tripwire, said there was no room for festive emotions among the cybercriminal fraternity and people should remain on high alert when searching for bargains.
“Cybercriminals are very resourceful, and they know that the siren song of a good deal is almost always irresistible to bargain hunters,” he said. “The number one reason to click is trust in a brand, which isn't good – I have seen some very convincing phishing emails and bogus websites that look nearly identical to the real thing. Shoppers need to look beyond the facade of convincing branding to make sure they aren't being conned into clicking on a bogus link.”
Troy Gill, manager of security research at AppRiver, added: "Scammers take advantage of busy times of the year, particularly the holiday season when countless users jump online to make purchases, track orders, check mail, etc. Don’t let these scams take away your holiday spirit this year."
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