Christmas – peak season for criminals

Traditional regional handcraft or mass product from China? Too perfect to be true.

The time of peace and contemplation – customers should be careful not to invite criminals and hackers to the family ceremony. 

In a few days we reach the long desired period of time: the days of contemplation and reflection within the family.  Long months of work and the hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas period, can finally be put aside for some days.  Packages will be unpacked, children are hopefully pleased about the many gifts. Among them are also many new electronic devices this year.  The trend has been unbroken for years. Computers, laptops, smart watches and fitness trackers are lying under the Christmas tree. 

But taking the new devices into use, one should not think however firstly, which new games can be download from the Internet. Unexperienced people who set up mail programs or children who surf the Internet without security settings are a major security problem. Hackers also know that.  Phishing emails, viruses or ransomware spread excellently over the holidays. Please note, that the first time you surf the Internet with your new laptop you should not focus on searching for new online games, but much more on searching for a properly virus protection program. 

In the business sector, many IT systems are only rudimentarily monitored and maintained for days.  Here, too, there is a great potential for manipulation… 

All these problems are aggravated by the fact that the Christmas mood which is traditionally associated with these days makes people think less about dangers. The festival of peace – we see ourselves of being permitted not to think about threats and dangers. Exactly this is the gateway criminals are using to steel our privacy, our data and our money. 

Also in the hardware area one should consider: many things, which are well presented under the Christmas tree, are falsified products. Counterfeiters and product pirates also have their peak season around Christmas. The great hustle and bustle leads many to disregard normal safety measures. There are no official statistics available, about the proportion of counterfeit goods amongst the Christmas gifts. It is however not logical to assume that the Christ child only distributes original goods.

Example: the popular truffle products. There is a global “production” of about 9-10 million tons. This production is quite stable as truffles can not be planted and harvested like normal crops. But global truffles market is expected to rise of over 19 percent until 2023. Not everywhere when allegedly truffle is promoted the noble mushroom in it.  If the availability of a product and the supply on the market constantly diverge, this can only be due to the fact that the raw material is more and more diluted or even completely replaced by substitutes (flavours). 

Fake-shops online – no delivery, not only at Christmas

People love buying online – especially when the gifts have to be ordered secretly and wheather outside does not really invite to a comfy shopping spree. More than 70 percent of customers do prefer online shopping then. Partially the place under the Weihnachtsbaum remains however empty. This could be because of the overtaxed delivery services. But people should also bear in mind being able to fall for usual scam, especially when there is much to order in a short period of time and, additionally on web-shops that are not frequently visited. High-value products like computers, bikes, etc. are not bought every day.  It could easily happen to buy on a falsified online-shop, by which the commodity would not be supplied anyhow – even if there is no Christmas. 

But we do not only want to spread a bad mood here. After all, the spirit of Christmas is not only to celebrate the birth of Jesus in peace and joy, but also to have a few relaxed days with all the family members which are visited frequent or less frequent. The hope and the firm faith remains that at least the feelings that are exchanged within the family are genuine.