November 26, 2020 12:00:00 AM
The festive season is under way and this year more than any other, emotions are generally running high, money may be tight and there are more distractions than usual. As we all take advantage of the great deals, we also need to be super vigilant when shopping online. Criminals are active all year round but the Christmas shopping season is when they really come into force to try and scam us.
Cyber criminals need you to click on a link in order to load malware onto your tablet, smartphone or computer. But they know you won’t click on something that looks dodgy so they will try to entice you and trick you with “special offers” that look like it came from a reputable retailer.
Here are some top tips from our cyber security partner F-Secure with the things to look out for:
1.Be careful where you click and what emails you open. Christmas deals tend to flood our inboxes so this is where you need to be super vigilant. Criminals main aim is to entice you to click on a link by sending you an email with an amazing offer in it. It could even look like a retailer you know. Once clicked, malware could be downloaded onto your device without you knowing, you'll continue to shop online and use your credit card and passwords to access your accounts and the malware will be logging this information and sending it to the criminal. This is just one type of malware criminals use.
2. Look for https and the padlock in the browser. This is a useful icon to look out for as it tells you that site is secure. A legitimate site will have a web address beginning with https (instead of just http) and will show a padlock in the address bar too. If it doesn't have these, get out of there!
3. Set up a dedicated, separate and up-to-date browser for conducting your shopping and banking transactions. It doesn't matter if you are using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari. Just make sure you use one for these transactions and a different one for things like social media, games and general browsing.
4. Ensure your device software is fully up to date. When your device tells you it’s time to update your software, believe it. This might result in slight changes to the user interface that takes time to adapt to, but it will also ensure that you are not leaving gaping security holes for criminals to sneak into your digital life.
5. Protect yourself by installing Internet security software. Your smartphone, tablet, PC and Mac are all means by which cyber criminals can steal from you. Protect your devices with a robust security product like SuperSafe Boost from TalkTalk. SuperSafe Boost doesn’t just protect you from viruses, it has additional features like banking and shopping protection, which helps to keep you safe from phishing sites by letting you know that you’ve landed on the trusted banking or shopping website.
6. Be Password smart. Use a unique and strong password for every account. It must be unique to protect you in the case that a particular entire service is hacked. And it has to be strong so you won't be hacked personally. This advice sounds simple but given the many important accounts most of us have, it can get very difficult. Consider using a password manager to help you like the one that is included as part of TalkTalk’s SuperSafe Boost security suite.
To give you and your family peace of mind to shop and browse safely this Christmas, why not add TalkTalk’s SuperSafe Boost to your mobiles, tablets and laptops. All you need to do is to log in to your My Account and select ‘SuperSafe Boost’ to protect up to 10 devices for just £4 a month and before you can say "Ho! Ho! Ho!" you'll be protected and safe to shop online to your heart's content.