E-greeting cards have become a popular way to reach out to friends and family at holiday time and on special occasions. Regrettably, cybercriminals also take advantage of the growing popularity of e-cards by duping consumers into downloading malware. You can safeguard yourself, your friends, and your family against e-card scams by following the tips below.
1. Don't open attachments: Most legitimate e-cards are links to the company's website that allow you to go directly to your card. Avoid attachments and don't download anything from a source you don't recognize.
2. When in doubt, delete: If something looks a little strange or “phishy,” such as the name of the sender or vague subject lines, just delete the card. It's better to do that than run the risk of getting a virus.
3. Know where you’re going online: Use security software* that detects sites that push online scams, adware installations, attachments filled with viruses and other downloads that could harm your system.
4. Know what to look for: While most e-card scams actually look legitimate, there are usually some telltale signs to look for. Watch out for misspelled words or names, not knowing who sent you the card, a disguised name (such as Your Friend, A Secret Admirer, etc.), or an odd URL.
5. Always read the fine print before accepting any terms: Make sure you actually read the fine print before agreeing to anything. Some e-card scams list in their terms that they can send e-mail to everyone in your address book. Make sure you know what you are agreeing to.