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For most people the holidays are the happiest time of the year, when you get to see family and friends, open gifts, and eat more food in one day than you eat during a typical week. But with the good comes the bad, such as the stress of travel and finding the perfect gift for that hard-to-please someone. Cybercriminals are well aware that people are stressed and busy in the months leading up to the holidays, and are therefore easier targets for scams and email hacks. Last month, Agari published its Q3 2013 Email TrustIndex report, showing which industries are most susceptible to cyberattacks. While e-commerce sites remain one of the most trustworthy sectors in terms of email security, the travel industry continues to have more lax security standards and be a top sector abused by cybercriminals.

Travel – Know Who You’re Booking With

  • Travel brands such as Avis, Enterprise, American Airlines and JetBlue remain one of the lowest scoring sectors in the TrustIndex, with some brands having a complete absence of significant email security measures, making customers more susceptible to attacks.
  •  Interestingly, the TrustIndex showed that individual airline, hotel and car rental brands do far less to protect their customers than comparison, competitive shopping sites like Booking.com, Kayak and Priceline.

E-commerce – Shop with Confidence

  • E-commerce sites continue to keep their brands and consumers safe by implementing strategic email security plans.
  • Netflix, American Greetings and Living Social all have nearly perfect scores in the TrustIndex, indicating that consumers need not be worried when opening an email from these sites.
  • When comparing domains belonging to “brick and mortar” companies to online-only brands, there was a significant difference: four of the top five riskiest companies analyzed are “brick and mortar” with a digital play.

Whether you are traveling this holiday season, or making last minute purchases online, be sure that you trust who’s emailing you before clicking that link. The holidays can easily be a scary time when it comes to email security, but by being aware you can prevent cyberattacks, keep your data safe, and get to grandma’s house in time to open presents.