A recent study by cybersecurity and compliance company Proofpoint has revealed that almost three-quarters (72%) of the top 50 online retailers in Canada are not taking appropriate measures to protect consumers from potential email fraud and cybercrime. This news comes just before the start of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period, where millions of Canadians are expected to flock to online retailers to snag deals and discounts.
Last year, Canadians spent an estimated $10.3 billion during Cyber Week, and this year, a recent survey by the Retail Council of Canada shows that nine in ten Canadians plan to shop this holiday season, expecting to spend nearly $900 on gifts, clothing, food, and toys between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With such high expectations for online shopping, it is crucial for consumers to remain vigilant against potential email fraud and cybercrime.
The study conducted by Proofpoint analyzed the top 50 online retailers in Canada based on website traffic and their adoption of DMARC, an authentication protocol that helps guarantee the identity of email communications and protects website domain names from being spoofed and misused. The findings showed that only 28% of online retailers have implemented the highest level of protection to reject suspicious emails from reaching consumers’ inboxes, while 30% have no DMARC record in place at all, leaving consumers vulnerable to fraudulent emails.
Robert Holmes, group vice president and general manager of Proofpoint’s Sender Security and Authentication business, emphasized the importance of remaining vigilant during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period, as cyber criminals often capitalize on the spike in email traffic to target shoppers with convincing lures and scams. Email is a widely used marketing tool and a popular channel for cyber criminals to conduct large-scale phishing campaigns, and the lack of DMARC protection in nearly one-third of Canada’s leading online retailers makes consumers susceptible to impersonation and fraudulent emails.
In response to these findings, Proofpoint encourages Canadians to take extra precautions when shopping online and offers the following tips to stay safe during the holiday season:
– Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA) or a Password Manager
– Beware of Imitation Sites
– Dodge Phishing and Smishing Threats
– Refrain from Clicking on Links
– Verify Before Making a Purchase
The company also highlights the increased security requirements from Google and Yahoo, which will require email DMARC authentication for messages sent from their platforms, signaling a step in the right direction to prevent spam and scams. Failure to comply with these requirements will significantly impact the deliverability of legitimate messages to customers with Gmail and Yahoo! accounts.
Proofpoint further emphasizes the importance of implementing DMARC authentication to protect consumers from email fraud and cybercrime, providing a link for further information on DMARC and its benefits. The study was conducted using data from SimilarWeb’s ranking of the top 50 online retailers in Canada and is a call to action for both retailers and consumers to ensure safe and secure online shopping experiences.
About Proofpoint, Inc.: Proofpoint, Inc. is a leading cybersecurity and compliance company that helps organizations protect their people from targeted threats, safeguard their data, and make users more resilient against cyber attacks. With a suite of cloud-based solutions, Proofpoint is trusted by leading organizations worldwide for people-centric security and compliance solutions across email, the cloud, social media, and the web. More information is available on their website.