Holiday Hacks: Protecting Your Browser Amidst Festive Cyber Fervour


As the holiday season approaches, digital transactions transform into a bustling marketplace blending festive cheer with lurking cyber threats. Amidst the joyous celebrations, it’s paramount to fortify our digital defences beyond the conventional cues of cyber intrusion. Here, we delve deeper into safeguarding your website browser, unveiling lesser-known threats often lurking beneath the surface. As the festive fervour heightens, so does the need for heightened vigilance in the digital sphere.

Let’s equip ourselves with invaluable insights to navigate the cyber landscape safely during this festive season and beyond.

Mousetrapping: Malicious online marketers use trickery to lure users into visiting harmful websites. Once on these sites, hackers may turn off your browser’s “back button,” inundating your screen with unwanted pop-ups. To evade this, if you find yourself trapped, consider restarting your computer or simply exiting the site altogether.

Typosquatting: Cyber tricksters create websites resembling popular ones but with slightly altered addresses. Their goal? To lure users into clicking the link. You can outsmart this by bookmarking your frequently visited sites. Using your browser’s “Bookmarks” or “Favorites” feature prevents you from mistyping URLs and stumbling onto these fraudulent sites.

Pagejacking: Have you ever landed on a page different from what you expected? Pagejacking occurs when search engines redirect users to fake versions of popular websites. Upon arrival, users might find themselves bombarded with unwanted content like ads, offers, or even inappropriate material like pornography or hate speech.

Pharming: Here, hackers redirect users from legitimate sites to fake ones designed to steal sensitive information. This scam covertly tracks data inputted, including credit card details, banking info, and usernames/passwords. This harvested data can be exploited later for nefarious purposes.

By staying informed about these tactics and being cautious while browsing, such as bookmarking frequently used sites and being wary of unexpected redirects, you can better shield yourself against these holiday-themed cyber threats.

How to protect your website browser

  • Disable the JavaScript on your browser. Despite turning off some website features, this prevents malicious scripts from trapping users on websites. 
  • As mentioned, accessing sites through Favorites or Bookmarks can help to avoid pagejacking. If re-directed to or trapped on a bogus webpage, you can use your Bookmarks and jump to a trusted site. 
  • Make sure you are browsing secure websites by checking that the website address starts with the HTTPS:// prefix to prevent falling for pharming. AVG, Norton, McAffee, and other trustworthy internet security programs will alert users if a website’s certificate (record of authenticity) is invalid.

Discover the power of cyber-safe practices this holiday season! Embrace vigilant monitoring and savvy avoidance to shield yourself and your family from scams. Delve deeper into consumer concerns by exploring our mobile app, FRAUDSTER, now available on Apple and Android devices. Uncover invaluable insights at

For those who’ve already downloaded the FraudsterApp, seize the opportunity to enhance your defences! Tap the training icon on the home screen to fortify your protection measures.




Terry Cutler

I’m Terry Cutler, the creator of Internet Safety University, an educational system helping to defend corporations and individuals against growing cyber threats. I’m a federal government-cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the founder of Cyology Labs, a first-line security defence firm headquartered in Montréal, Canada. In 2020, I wrote a bestselling book about the secrets of internet safety from the viewpoint of an ethical hacker. I’m a frequent contributor to National & Global media coverage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and social network dangers families and individuals face daily.