February 03, 2011, 2:39 PM — This Sunday the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will go head-to-head in the Super Bowl. As people watch the game, many will be simultaneously surfing online to research sports trivia and view interactive content about the game. Of course, attackers will also exploit the popularity of the Super Bowl for malware, phishing scams, and other attacks, so beware.
A PCTools spokesperson e-mailed some insight on the subject, "Security experts predict record-breaking numbers of online threats and cyber attacks related to Super Sunday as compared to other holidays or events."
According to a comScore survey of online activity during the 2010 Super Bowl, two-thirds of respondents intended to use the Internet on Super Bowl Sunday to research players, teams, and other game-related information. With more widespread video streaming and other interactive online content, those numbers will likely increase this year.
"Whenever there is a major event, like Super Sunday, we see this kind of increased activity," said Stephanie Edwards, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing of PC Tools. "Fans and TV audiences want to enjoy the game while surfing game and commercials-related websites."
Here are five tips to consider for a safe and secure online surfing experience this Super Bowl Sunday:
1. Beware file sharing sites. Maybe you missed that Budweiser commercial, or you just can't get enough of the Doritos ad, so you think you'll go online to see if anyone has uploaded a clip. Be careful where you surf for such content, because attackers will prey on the heightened interest to spread malware. The vendors usually post their Super Bowl commercials online as well, so try sticking to the legitimate vendor site, or at least stay on Youtube and avoid file sharing sites.