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Watch out for cyber scams over the holiday season!

The festive season is fast approaching and that means a lot of us are completing our Christmas shopping online. However, the season is also a very vulnerable time for online shoppers. With more cyber-scammers choosing the festive period to launch their attacks. The Queen Mary Information Security Team have put togehter some tips to help you know what to watch out for.

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If you are unsure on the legitimacy of a retailers website, an email voucher offer or a shared discount link then don’t click until you have made sure it’s OK!

We have some great examples in our Queen Mary cyber security training which can help you spot a scam. 

The National Cyber Security Centre has some new advice on securing yourself online here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home

Here's a quick reminder here are some online scams to watch out for this Christmas:

Free vouchers

Every shopper will always want to save money where they can. However, shoppers are urged to be cautious. When redeeming vouchers, some links can lead to sites which require personal information. This enables criminals to raid bank accounts or sell on personal information. It is vital that you ensure the source of the link is legitimate.

Unsecure browsing

All websites that require card payment information will display a padlock icon on the pages browser to show that it is secure. However, some may not always be secure. It is essential that payment information is only handed over via a secure connection. It is recommended that shoppers use a method of payment that is protected by the providers such as, credit card or PayPal.

Scam emails

During the festive period a lot of retailers will be doing their upmost to entice you by sending you emails with promotional offers. However, due to scammers becoming increasingly creative in how they attack unsuspecting internet users, emails may be disguised as an authentic message from a genuine online retailer. They send their victims a message, prompting them to click on a link which can infect your hardware with a malware virus. There are many ways you can try to recognise email scams- which you can see in your online cyber training.

Stay safe - Think before you click!

Online shopping is growing in popularity, but users should treat it with caution when making purchases. Cyber criminals know that this season is the busiest time of the year for online retailing and are forever developing new, convincing scams that could leave many innocent shoppers out-of-pocket. A ‘think before you click’ attitude are the best means of staying safe online this Christmas.