The country’s top cybersecurity experts have revealed the key things to do to protect yourself while Christmas shopping online.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched a major government TV advertising campaign called Cyber Aware. It outlines 6 key behaviours to protect accounts and devices from the majority of online crime.
It comes as data reveals criminals swindled an average of £775 from each victim over the last festive period.
Statistics by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have shown that over last year’s Christmas shopping period (1st November 2019 and 31st January 2020) there were 17,405 reports of online shopping fraud, reporting a loss of £13.5 million. That’s an average of £775 per incident.
The one thing you should NEVER do while Christmas shopping online
One of the biggest things is to NEVER shop without setting two-factor identification (2FA) on your devices.
2FA helps to stop hackers from getting into your accounts, even if they have your password.
Some online banking uses 2FA automatically. It does this by asking for more information to prove your identity, such as a PIN or even a fingerprint or face ID. By setting one up, it means hackers are less likely to successfully access and exploit your personal details.
Penny Mordaunt, the Paymaster General said: “As we approach the Christmas season, we should all be on our guard and take the practical Cyber Aware actions to keep us safe as we work, shop and socialise online.”
How to shop online safely
The Cyber Aware campaign encourages the public to adopt six behaviours to protect their online accounts and devices. These are:
- Use a strong and separate password for your email
- Create strong passwords using 3 random words
- Save your passwords in your browser
- Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Update your devices and apps
- Back up your data
The new adverts, which will run until Christmas Eve, mark the first time the NCSC has launched a TV, radio and online advertising drive, and builds on the Cyber Aware campaign launched at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in spring.
Be careful when you shop online, take care out there.