Stay Safe Online This Christmastime

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Stay Safe Online This Christmastime

Christmas is one of the greatest times of the year and the perfect time to show your loved ones how much you care. With all of the hype, particularly around sourcing the perfect gifts, people often let their guard down making them prime targets for cyber-criminals to exploit.

There are a number of ways that cyber criminals may try and leverage against unsuspecting consumers. Here are some of the most common things to look out for this festive season:

  • E-CARDS

In recent years, the use of e-cards has risen dramatically, with many people preferring the convenience of mass distribution to traditional printed cards. However, these e-cards can be compromised and pose a risk to the recipient when opened, as they may be infected with malware or ransomware. So how can you stay safe? Do not click on the links for software required to view the card, but view it directly on the company’s website. Most legitimate e-card companies offer a code so you the e-card can be viewed online.

  • SPAM EMAILS

Everyone is so busy at Christmas time, looking to find the perfect gifts for loved ones that an email containing a fabulous offer might seem appealing at first glance. You can’t escape the flood of these emails delivered directly to your inbox. Be warned, many of these emails can contain links that download malware or redirect you to fake websites, stealing personal information. So how can you stay safe? Think before you click! In all honesty, if an offer seems too good to be true it probably is. Alternatively, head to the official website of the company directly through the browser, without clicking the link to see whether the offer is legitimate and provide an extra layer of protection.

  • FAKE WEBSITES

As Christmas fast approaches, you search frantically online for gifts that promise a fast delivery and come across some great deals with a company that you have never heard of or used before, but that’s okay because the website says the company will fulfil your needs. All seems well until…

A) The goods never arrive and loved ones are left without gifts

B) Card details have been stolen, which isn’t realised for a few weeks

So how can you stay safe? One of the simplest ways of staying safe online when shopping is to look for the SSL certificate (https ://) at the beginning of the URL, and search for reviews of other people’s purchases before committing to handing over any personal information.

If you have any concerns about anything contained in this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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