Holidays usually bring out the best in people, especially those who truly are kind-hearted and enthusiastic about the season, but it’s also an opportunity for the Grinches among us to take advantage of everyone around them. E-cards aren’t new to the internet, and may have actually waned in overall popularity since their inception many years ago, but the winter holidays usually see a spike in their usage. Internet blackhats know this trend, and ironically, it’s like Christmas for them, because they know they can trick more than the usual number of people into opening fake greeting cards that instead of delivering cheer and love, drop a big helping of malware coal in your digital stocking.
What this means for you:
Frankly, I verge on the side of paranoia, and and don’t open any digital greeting card these days unless I recognize the URL (and confirm it’s not a counterfeit). This makes me feel vaguely Scroogish, but I’d rather not spend the holidays disinfecting my computer. If you get a E-card from someone that you weren’t expecting, especially if it’s from someone you know wouldn’t send one (or they already sent you an actual physical greeting card), take a moment to contact that person to verify they actually sent it, especially if you don’t recognize the URL. Heck, it could be your opportunity to reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile, and there’s no better time like the holidays to reconnect with acquaintances, right?
If you do decide to open that virtual card, make sure your antimalware is up to date, your operating system fully patched, and you have C2 Technology on speed dial!
Image courtesy of “mrpuen” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net