07 Dec 2011

Computer criminals get savvier during the holidays

While it may be the time of year for giving, one internet security expert warns people to be careful how they use their social networking accounts to share what gifts they'll buy and where they are. Hemanshu Nigam told CBS New York said giving too much information could make someone a good target for fraud.

“Cyber-savvy criminals are very savvy during Christmastime, and they’re looking for things like that,” Nigam said.“Instead of casing the neighborhood, they’re casing the online neighborhood. … The next thing you know, you have a virus in your computer. And that bad guy owns your computer, and that’s not what you need during the holiday season, when you should be enjoying Christmas and the holidays, and the New Year coming.”

Nigam said much like people lock their doors, social networking accounts should be secured as well. He said to be wary of clicking links, even if they are forwarded from friends, because people's accounts can get hijacked. He also said to beware of people asking for donations via social networking and phone over the holidays.

Social Media Today said people should "give yourself the gift of online security" by installing an antivirus program. Users should also use common sense by avoiding iffy links and making sure ecommerce shopping links are secured.