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Sophos: Use Caution on Black Monday

Sophos advises online shoppers to use caution this holiday season

BOSTON -- The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is a time when millions of shoppers in the U.S. are expected to line up in front of stores in the early morning hours to take advantage of some of the biggest sales of the season. However, for the last two years, Cyber Monday - the Monday following Black Friday - has become the most popular shopping day for online consumers. The temptation of low shipping costs, discounted merchandise and the elimination of competition between other mall shoppers has made online shopping far more alluring.

A recent poll conducted by IT security and control firm Sophos indicates that 73 percent* of consumers plan to shop online this holiday season. That figure is an increase from last year's 71 percent** and illustrates the popularity of online shopping. While consumers have taken advantage of bargains available on Cyber Monday, cybercriminals have also honed in on how, when and where consumers are shopping online. Sophos is warning these shoppers to be mindful of the possibility of identity theft during Cyber Monday and offers steps to avoid falling victim.

"Cybercriminals are becoming craftier and smarter in the ways they exploit consumers to steal their personal information," said Mike Haro, senior security analyst for Sophos. "This holiday season, consumers should be more prepared and aware of the risks, especially as these crimes have been reported quite heavily in the news. Having the right line of defense in place and knowing what signs to look out for will help online shoppers to avoid potential credit card fraud and identity theft."

Sophos plc