60% of UK Consumers Leaving Themselves Vulnerable to New Year’s Resolution Scams

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New research from ESET has revealed that 60% of UK consumers are leaving themselves vulnerable to New Year’s resolution online scams.

ESET surveyed 2000 people about their New Year’s resolution plans for 2019, with the top results being to lose weight/get fitter (64%), live a healthier lifestyle (50%) and save money (48%). However, the findings also showed that almost one in three (27%) consumers feel pressured by brands to go for quick fixes to help them achieve their goals with things like ‘today only’ deals.

Respondents revealed that they would be willing to download new apps (29%), enter online competitions (28%) or click through to deals they received via email (16%) to achieve resolution success, yet only four in 10 (39%) were certain they had anti-virus software on their mobile devices to protect them. That means over 60% of consumers could be putting themselves at risk of New Year’s resolution-themed scams.

Branislav Orlik, product manager for mobile security at ESET said: “At this time of year, it is incredibly easy to be enticed into exciting offers and quick-fix solutions, while scrolling through our phones or tablets. However, smartphone users with no anti-virus software are opening themselves up to some serious threats.

“While an email deal or competition may seem enticing, clicking through on an unsafe link or entering your details online can make you vulnerable to hackers and leave your personal data at risk. It is crucial to consider how you can best protect your devices.”

To avoid falling victim to these types of scam, ESET had the following advice for users:

  • Watch out for increased phishing email attacks in the form of ‘quick-fix’ deals
  • If you haven’t visited a particular brand’s website before, do your homework and research reviews and comments from trusted review sites
  • Be very cautious of deals you see on Facebook, Instagram and so on – even if there are lots of ‘likes’ on the post. There are plenty of scams that take advantage of easily accessible and cheap social media advertising platforms.
  • Download anti-virus software for all your devices, including smartphones and tablets

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