Why there’s an increased risk to be scammed online this holiday season.

Local News

State College, Pa- Cyber Monday is here. As you’re looking to click your way to great deals… you should also know you’re at a greater risk to have private information hacked.

This Cyber Monday, sales are on a pace to reach $7.8 billion, in the United States by the end of the day Monday. That’s nearly a 20% increase compared to last year’s sales.

But with potentially record breaking sales comes the danger of having your information stolen.

WTAJ spoke with Penn State’s Coordinator for their Bachelor’s program in Cyber Security, David Hozza, to hear why shoppers are more susceptible to having information stolen around the holiday season.

“People, in an effort to get a good deal… will let their guard down,” Hozza said.

He says there are many things online shoppers will overlook during the holiday season… like the security of the website they’re on.

“Consumers are definitely more at risk during the whole holiday season of having their credentials compromised, just because of the nature of holiday shopping, and the amount of volume we’re experiencing…..cyber criminals feed off of people’s emotions.”

Emotions scammers target with phishing messages.

Hozza also says anyone can easily end up on a scam page.

“It’s just basically one click of the mouse… and you’ve gone to the attackers site,” he said.

But he notes it’s more important to know what to do when you arrive at a scam page.

“It’s very important to make sure you’re dealing with a secure site…..you always want to check the URL at the top of the page, make sure you see the little lock,” Hozza said.

Professor Hozza told WTAJ that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security have issued warnings regarding an uptick in cyber attacks since Thanksgiving.

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