New campaign fights festive fraud when shopping online
14 December 20  /  Insights

Due to coronavirus, more people are doing their festive shopping online this year. This provides more opportunities for hackers to carry out cyberattacks, which usually take the form of email and website scams, and malware, a type of software that can damage your device or let a hacker in. Once a hacker has accessed your device or accounts, they could access your money, your personal information or information about your business.
Statistics from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau reveal that during the last festive season (1st Nov 2019 – 31st Jan 2020), there were 17,405 reports of online shopping fraud, representing a loss of £13.5 million, which equates to victims of online shopping fraud in England and Wales each losing an average of £775.
With just a few shopping days to go before Christmas and more people than ever buying online, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched a new cyber awareness campaign to help people shop securely over Christmas. Called ‘Cyber Aware’, the website and TV advertising campaign has the support of such organisations as Microsoft, Vodafone, BT, ASOS, Barclays and Citizens Advice, and outlines six key behaviours you should adopt to protect your accounts and devices:

1.    Use a strong and separate password for your email
2.    Create a strong password using 3 random words
3.    Save your passwords in your browser
4.    Turn on two factor authentication (2FA)
5.    Update your devices and apps
6.    Backup your data

For further details on these six points, (click here)

Microsoft accounts and devices are protected with multi-factor authentication, providing an effective block against 99.9% of attacks on accounts. Sian John, Chief Security adviser at Microsoft UK, said: “If it feels suspicious or unusual, it may well be. If you are shopping online this year, spend the time you would have spent wrapping up warm to head out to the shops on checking your online security.”

Lindy Cameron, Chief Executive of the NCC said: “Scammers stole millions from internet shoppers last Christmas - but by following our advice, you can protect yourself from the majority of their crimes. We hope the Cyber Aware campaign helps people to shop confidently online and enjoy their Christmas.”

The Cyber Awareness campaign runs until Christmas Eve and is delivered by the NCSC working alongside the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). To watch the Cyber Aware advert, (click here)

The NCSC has produced a number of guides on how to protect yourself and stay cybersafe. They are essential reading given the number of smart devices now being used for home and business. We’ll highlight more of the NCSC guides in a series of Cyber Aware articles, coming soon.

Source: NCSC - Campaign to help online Christmas shoppers fight festive fraud

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