GMAIL users have been issued with a Christmas cyber-warning.
Experts have told The Sun that every Gmail user needs to be on high alert for seasonal scams – and urged Googlers to check their settings.
Christmas is a busy time of year for hackers and scammers.
They capitalise on seasonal spending, festive good cheer to hoodwink victims.
“While the run-up to Christmas is the season of good cheer, it’s also the season of phishing scams," said Jamie Ahktar, CEO at CyberSmart, told The Sun.
Last year, we saw the number of phishing scams reported in November and December rocket by 80% as cybercriminals look to take advantage of the flurry of online shopping.
"Anyone using Gmail (or any other email provider) should set up two-factor authentication, make sure you regularly install updates, and familiarise yourself with what phishing scams look like.
"Often the tell-tale signs are simple; spelling mistakes, strange email addresses or offers that seem too good to be true."
Gmail users need to be especially alert to email scams.
Christmas sees a surge in certain types of con attempts, cyber-experts revealed.
"Watch out for charity scams during the holidays," said Chris Hack, a consumer privacy champion at Pixel Privacy.
"Scammers take advantage of 'that Christmas feeling' to scam victims out of their hard-earned money."
It's easy to forget that one of the simplest ways a hacker can hijack your account is your own password.
People who re-use simple, easy-to-guess passwords are a hacker's dream.
So consider using a password manager to avoid your Gmail being compromised this Christmas.
"Ironically, some of the best ways to keep yourself safe this Christmas are not even high-tech," said Erich Kron, a cyber-expert at KnowBe4.
"As always, passwords are a risk for most people, especially when they are reused across different websites.
"Cybercriminals know that if they get one password, it is likely to work in other places, so they work hard to trick people into giving them up.
"The other issue with passwords is when people use ones that are easily guessed.
"Automated tools help these criminals break into accounts with weak passwords in just a few seconds."
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