‘Tis the Season to be Scammy

While the holiday season brings plenty of sweet treats and cheer, it also brings an increase in cybercrime. There are several ways cybercriminals try to trick holiday shoppers, such as sending phishing emails with fake deals, selling bogus gift cards at discounted rates, or creating scam donation campaigns. Stay safe online this holiday season and look out for these common cybercrime tricks: 

Look out for holiday phishing emails

Phishing is when a scammer sends a fraudulent email trying to get you to click a bad link or provide personal information. With the influx of holiday emails, many online shoppers are more likely to click scammy email links or donate to fake charities. Scammers will send phishing emails that take shoppers to look-alike websites — once shoppers enter their login information, scammers will use it to gain access to real accounts. Other cybercriminals may try to trick generous people into donating to fake charities or causes. 

It’s important to be mindful of a few things as you prepare for this holiday shopping season:

  • Don’t click on suspicious links, especially in emails you weren’t expecting
  • Log into accounts on your browser, not through links in your email
  • Do your research before donating to any charity or cause

Shop safely online

The convenience of online shopping isn’t without risks, but you can be a smart shopper by learning how to avoid cybercrime and shop safely. It’s important to make sure you’re shopping on a secure website, not chasing bogus deals, and not oversharing your personal information as you shop. 

A smart online shopper:

  • Verifies the security of a website. Scammers create fake websites to try to get people’s personal information or sell knockoff items. Smart shoppers make sure they have a secure connection by double-checking the URL to look for an https or the green padlock.
  • Knows when “deals” are too good to be true. When smart shoppers find items selling for crazy low prices, they know it’s most likely a scam and head to a more reputable website. They also are highly skeptical of the phishy deals in their inboxes, and they think before they click!
  • Uses strong passwords and doesn’t give away all their personal info. When creating online accounts, smart shoppers use strong passwords and don’t give out any more info than they have to in order to make a purchase.

Avoid public wi-fi

Never access personal information while on public wi-fi. Cybercriminals love to lurk on public networks and wait for victims to log in to important accounts or make purchases. It’s better to wait to purchase items or enter personal information online until you’re on a secure network, like your home network or a VPN (virtual private network).

Don’t fall for gift card scams

There are many gift card scams during the holidays. It’s always better to avoid resell websites offering cards for less than face value. When you shop on resell sites, there isn’t a guarantee you’ll get what you paid for. To avoid getting scammed, buy gift cards from reputable sellers!

Regardless of how you online shop this holiday season, you can rest assured that Nextep takes data security seriously. From achieving our SOC 1®, Type 2 designation to regularly conducting internal data security training, we work hard to keep your sensitive data safe. 

For more information about how Nextep can help elevate and enrich your business experience, give us a call — we’d love to chat!

Also on Nextep

Coming to your Nextep account and an app store near you in late 2023 Gone are the days of sifting through emails, struggling to find the right document, or waiting on someone to respond to your queries. We’re putting the power back in your hands with upgrades to the Nextep account and our new app, […]
Read more
Fair and Transparent AI in the Workplace The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) brings challenges to HR and compliance, but we can tackle them head-on. Let’s break it down: Bias and Discrimination: AI sometimes picks up biases from the data it learns from. To fix this, choose diverse and fair datasets to train AI […]
Read more
Don’t worry. Nextep’s payroll processing is unaffected by the SVB closure. At Nextep, we understand that the recent closure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has caused concern for our clients and their employees who bank with SVB. We want to assure you that Nextep’s ability to process payroll remains unaffected by this event. We are […]
Read more
How our security methods protect your data When it comes to cybersecurity, physical locks and security cameras won’t cut it anymore. Today’s cybercriminals are sophisticated and relentless, and they can find their way into your network through a variety of digital backdoors. That’s why a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy should address not only physical and environmental […]
Read more
Don’t Get Speared by this Phishing Scam Last week, we discussed the tactics scammers use to gain personal information from people, including phone, text, and email phishing.  Let’s hone in on phishing more to talk about spear phishing. Typical phishing scams will use email made to appear like it’s coming from a specific entity, such […]
Read more
Texting and phishing and phoning, oh my! Identity thieves will do whatever they can to steal your information. These three identity-stealing scams are popular ones to be aware of. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases an annual “Dirty Dozen” list. These identity-stealing scams and schemes are highlighted to warn taxpayers every year. The IRS urges […]
Read more
8 Ways to Keep Your Data Secure This month, we’re turning the spotlight on data security.  Nextep’s technology team is serious about data security! Use these 8 tips to help keep sensitive info safe. 1. Use long passwords Unsurprisingly, long passwords are more secure than short ones. Please don’t use the same password for multiple […]
Read more
What business owners need to know right now. On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a rule to prohibit non-competition clauses (“non-competes”) in employment agreements.  Non-compete provisions include broadly written non-disclosure agreements that ban working in the same field post-employment and require employees to pay “training costs” if the employment terminates within […]
Read more
ALEXANDRIA, Va., October 27, 2022 (Newswire.com) – The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) announced today that Hank Johnson, Director of Risk Management & Legal Compliance of Norman, OK-based Nextep, Inc., has been elected to the association’s Board of Directors during its annual member meeting last month.  Johnson is among nine new industry leaders elected to […]
Read more
It’s more critical than ever to make sure your business has a stable foundation. Businesses must be able to adjust to unforeseen circumstances and keep a solid financial footing through hard times. Here are 4 ways a PEO can help your business have more financial stability and weather trying times: PEO + OVERALL COST SAVINGS […]
Read more
It’s no surprise benefits are one of the top reasons for employees staying with a company or going elsewhere. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study shows that 36% of employees leave for better benefits. Employee retention can be daunting, but we’re here to break it down! Therefore, we’re talking today about benefits. We’ll look […]
Read more
In our employee retention series, we’ve talked about flexibility, employee growth, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now, let’s look at another topic that has a massive impact on attracting and retaining top talent: pay! The Great Resignation and the impacts of an ongoing pandemic have long-lasting effects. As a result, employees are evaluating their […]
Read more

Download Our App


Download the Nextep Mobile App in Apple iOS or Google Play