Whether you decide to give flowers, chocolates or something a little more unusual as the perfect symbol of your affection this Valentine’s Day, make sure you take extra precautions when ordering online. That’s the advice being given by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG). AVG warns that as more and more expressions of love are being bought online, buyers’ heightened states of emotion may bring increased risks to their browsing computer or mobile device, and their online identity.
Tony Anscombe, AVG’s Senior Security Evangelist, explains: “The kinds of emotions involved in Valentine’s Day preparations, whether love or total panic in some cases, can often cause people to act without their usual level of care. The danger is that we become so focused on the act of giving or receiving affection that we become less alert to the tricks of cybercriminals looking to prey on our vulnerabilities and our inattention.
“Young or old, we all still love the idea of having an admirer. The consequence of this is that we are much more likely to accept an unsolicited Facebook friend request or email offer, if sent at the right time of year,” Anscombe continues.
Valentine’s Day is one the largest days of the year for online retailers and for online cybercriminals who try to take advantage of the increased activity to cause as much damage as possible through their various tricks of the trade. Viral posts through social media are the new spam email, as are Twitter worms such as “Are these pictures of you?” Invitations to download apps ‘designed’ for Valentine’s Day can be a trap, particularly if you accept them from free marketplaces. Spam and e-greeting cards also continue to be popular in the lead up to Valentine’s Day simply because they are effective at tricking people into clicking on and opening malicious links.