Scams are not going away, in fact – according to Norton, the leading cyber security and safety brand of Gen, they will become even more sophisticated in 2023 as we face challenging economic times.
The rising cost of living and economic uncertainty will create the perfect environment for scammers to take advantage of vulnerable people.
Norton expects cyber criminals will come up with new ways to trick victims into offering up their personal information, emptying their bank accounts or spending money on products, services or lottery winnings that will never arrive.
“We anticipate scammers will continue to prey on the vulnerability of people as economic pressures rise in 2023,” said Kevin Roundy, Researcher and Technical Director at Norton.
“Cybercriminals love to exploit seasonal opportunities, and consumers are facing a perfect storm of rising prices in the middle of the busiest shopping season of the year when scammers are particularly active.
“Scams are always harder to detect during the holiday season because consumers expect deep discounts and may believe prices that would normally seem too good to be true.
“This year, inflation and other unfavorable macroeconomic factors are likely to make people particularly eager to find good deals and they may therefore be at greater risk than in previous years.
“Taking a few proactive steps today could help you to be safer all year long.”
Here are Norton’s top predictions for 2023.
– Scammers will prey on vulnerable consumers. There will be a rise in financial-based scams including assistance scams that will attempt to fake government programmes to steal personal identifiable information (PII).
– Shopper scams. Cybercriminals will set up fake e-shops to pull off shopping deal scams. They will promote low-cost products to steal personal information or your money without delivering the order.
– Romance Scams. Expect more people to fall prey to romance scams which usually involves emotionally vulnerable consumers being targeted by cyber criminals before being asked for money or gift cards.
– Short-staffed companies targeted. Companies short on staff will be the prime targets for data breaches and ransomware attacks.
– Advances in AI. Cyber criminals are always on the lookout to create new scams and we can expect them to use AI in this endeavour to imitate real people in real time with deep fakes to trick people into handing over their financial and personal information.
– More data breaches. Cybercriminals have found ways around the standard multifactor authentication technologies and companies continuing to use these weak authentication practises will be leaving themselves and their customers open to data breaches which will resulting in massive amounts of consumer information being leaked.
So what can we do to protect ourselves in 2023?
Here are Norton’s hints to protect ourselves against these evolving threats:
– Be skeptical: Cybercriminals will imitate popular companies, organizations, or people in your network. Don’t click on buttons or links without verifying who is sending them to you.
– Manage your passwords: Make sure your password is unique and avoid using the same one across different accounts. Add another layer of security by using a password manager such as Norton Password Manager to safely store and help create secure and complex passwords.
– Use “unphishable” factors for MFA: Unphishable factors, such as biometrics, device-level security checks, hardware security keys, and cryptographic security keys are nearly impossible for cybercriminals to intercept, making MFA and 2FA practices more secure.
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