A well-known advertisement of a few years ago said that “at Christmas we are all better” and this slogan is now used far and wide to justify actions of unusual goodness conducted at this time of year … but this does not necessarily mean to be chickens! It is at this time that malicious people can – all the more reasonably – exploit the excitement of the holidays and the associated purchases by creeping into the market with scams and suspicious apps.

So beware of holiday-themed apps and particularly beneficial messages promoting discounts and offers. The alarm comes from Clusit, the Italian Association for Information Security, with particular reference to apps and the social world, WhatsApp first. Christmas-themed apps often and frequently aim to collect credentials and personal data. Unfortunately, all this happens to the detriment of those few Christmas-themed apps that do not hide malicious intentions: in this regard, if one of these apps particularly intrigues you, we recommend a quick Google search before installing it so as to inform yourself about them and avert possible fakes in action.

An inevitable trend of this period is then to exchange e-cards, beware of these and all the various messages via social and / or email especially if they have the above-mentioned offers too good to be true.

Surely it is also a period in which you give free rein to purchases and to find products maybe not really “comfortable” you choose the web channel. Beware then of unprotected free Wi-Fi networks such as those made available in public places, indeed avoid them when you make purchases because these communications can be intercepted, manipulated and altered by attackers. Before any online purchase, it’s good practice to update your security software and make sure you have all the security patches already installed. We reiterate then that, to the detriment of the super attractive offers, it is appropriate to rely only on sites already known and considered reliable, avoiding on the contrary unknown sites. An extra precaution in this regard is to look for the green padlock in the URL address bar in addition to using two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Sara Avanzi