With Christmas just around the corner and with popular events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday imminent, shopping online has never been easier or heavily promoted.  Without sounding like scrooge, unfortunately Christmas is a time for hackers and online scammers. Like house burglars, they are more active during December as quite simply there’s more to target! Online, they have a lot more credit cards and other personal info available to steal. Over 15,000 reports of online shopping fraud were made to Action Fraud during the 2017/18 Christmas period.

Apple iPhones accounted for 74% of all mobile phones purchased that turned out to be fraudulent.

 ‘Tis the season for online fraud…

We recommend you follow some common-sense cyber security guidance to limit yourself to an attack whilst shopping this Christmas:

Don’t be too click happy:

Don’t click on a link in an unexpected email or text. The volume of online shopping related phishing emails increases during the holiday period. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many shoppers are likely to click on all links promising fabulous deals without caring about their authenticity. Hacking is made even easier for criminals when people use same passwords for Facebook and other accounts as they automatically link.

Always download mobile apps, from Apple or Android, from the official app stores of the E-commerce retailer.

Are you downloading a new mobile app for coupons, deals or money off vouchers? If so, be careful! It’s reported that over 32,000 fraudulent mobile apps are online which claim to be associated with ‘leading online retailers’.

Only shop Online via Trusted Sites with HTTPS:// SSL Certificate

Avoid online shopping using public Wi-Fi networks:

Using public wireless networks for transactions or sending crucial information can make you prone to a major security threat. Wi-Fi networks are free, convenient and easily accessible. If it is free and easy to access for you, it is the same for hackers…

Credit Cards over Debit Cards:

Credit cards are better than a debit cards when it comes to online shopping because they have spending limits. Paying by credit card can be convenient, but it also gives you added legal protection if the company you’re buying from goes into administration.

Shop safely online this Christmas!

For further information and guidance on cyber crime please visit: National Cyber Security Centre