Scammers stole millions last Christmas. These six tips could keep you safe online this point around


NCSC issues advice for internet buyers as cyber criminals fix to require advantage of the busiest time of year for retail purchases.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is urging people to be careful when shopping online in the run up to Christmas as cyber criminals step up campaigns to steal money, card information and many more details during the busiest time of year.

Last year’s Christmas shopping period, from November 2019 to January 2020, saw cyber criminals make off with a total of £13.5 million as a result of online shopping fraud – averaging out at £775 per incident across 17,405 cases reported by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

And even more people are expected to be doing their Christmas shopping online this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the NCSC, alongside the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has launched a ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign.

The campaign lists six things to assist protect shoppers against phishing emails, malware and other malicious cyber activity – and provides information on the way to found out these additional protections:

  • Use a robust and separate password for your email
  • Create strong passwords using three random words
  • Save your passwords in your browser
  • Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Update your devices and apps
  • Backup your data

By following this recommendation , people can’t only better protect themselves from falling victim to cyberattacks, additional security on their devices also can provide better protection against cyber criminals attempting to exploit the phones and laptops people use while working from home to gain access to a corporate network.

Organizations also can play a task in helping their employees stay safe online by providing services including two-factor authentication and cloud-based backups.

“Technology will play an important role over the festive period, with more people shopping online than ever before. Scammers stole millions from internet shoppers last Christmas – but by following our advice, you’ll protect yourself from the bulk of their crimes,” said Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the NCSC.

The Cyber Aware campaign is being supported by organizations including Microsoft, Vodafone, BT, ASOS, Barclays and Citizens Advice.

“If you’re shopping online this year, spend the time you’d have spent wrapping up considering head bent the shops on checking your online security. If it feels suspicious or unusual it’s going to rather be ,” said Sian John, chief security adviser at Microsoft UK.


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