Cyber hackers are extremely fond of holiday shopping periods because many unsuspecting shoppers let their guards down and become targets easily by clicking on fake deals and from unknown sources.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are open season for hackers and cybercriminals, said Steve Durbin, managing director of the Information Security Forum, a London-based authority on cyber, information security and risk management.
"They've been gathering data all year about how to spoof you and their attempts will be very realistic," he said. "Not everyone is a crook and there will be genuine bargain offers, but stop and think before your press that button."
Cyber criminals are waiting for consumers to fall prey to their carefully planned attacks by using free WiFi during Black Friday and Cyber Monday despite how open the networks are, said Joram Borenstein, a vice president of marketing of NICE Actimize, a New York-based financial crimes software solutions provider.
These open networks give criminals easy access to your smartphone or tablet while you are browsing the mall or store for the best deals.
"Free WiFi means cyber criminals can snoop on your activity and traffic," he said.
Whether consumers are shopping at a store or taking a break at a restaurant, hackers are ready to pounce on people who opt for free WiFi which appears to look like a legitimate option.
"Without a doubt, there could very well be hackers sitting there who would be very happy to give you a Chase, Wells Fargo or Amex log-in," said Chris Roberts, chief security architect at Acalvio, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of advanced threat detection and defense solutions.