Have a Safe (Cyber) Christmas
As the season to be jolly approaches we are all getting carried away with Black Friday (total projected spend of £474 million) and a plethora of e-mails and texts encouraging us to take up unbeatable offers both on and offline. Every year the amount of goods bought online grows –UK consumers will spend £17.7 billion online this Christmas, a 7% increase over the previous year and some people now shop exclusively online.
In the same way that we have seen an exponential rise in cyber-attacks with our customers and the media reporting massive corporate breaches involving companies such as Talk Talk and Hilton Hotel Group the consumer is also a target for the grinches of cyber Christmas. Some crime groups have even made fake copies of popular shopping apps in a bid to steal payment-card data!
So how can we stay safe online at Christmas? ……Here’s a few tips:
1. Don’t access sites from those e-mails and texts that you are getting as some may be fake.
Links in emails, posts and texts are often the ways cybercriminals try to steal your information or infect your devices so go via a url that you type or search yourself.
2. Don’t give away too much
Personal information is like money: value it and protect it – only give what is necessary.
3. Be careful shopping online on the move
Don’t use public Wi-Fi to shop as these hotspots don’t generally encrypt data. This would also apply to key apps like your banking.
4. Choose your method of payment carefully
Use your credit cards as you will have more recourse with the issuer should the transaction fall foul – so safer than debit card.
5. Read the small print
When you buy goods online you have additional rights to return them. This is because your decision may be based on a brief description or a photograph – so what you receive isn’t always quite what you’d expected. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations you have the right to return your order up to 14 days from the day you receive your goods. Many online retailers extend this even further so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully as you may have longer to return unwanted items.
6. Check that the website is secure
Look for web addresses with https:// to ensure that the site is safe (it’s the “s” after http that’s key)
So hopefully this will allow you to get ready for Christmas as conveniently but safely as possible. If you have any queries about your company’s online protection please call a member of our team who will be happy to advise.