How to stay safe online this festive season


festive shopping

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As more and more of us rely on organising our holiday travel arrangements online as well as shopping for presents for friends and family, staying safe online is more important than ever, especially as scams are becoming harder to spot.

No one wants to be caught out this time of the year and potentially lose a considerable amount of money in the process or your tech being ruined by a virus, so being aware and taking precautions a must, as well as making other family members aware if you do come across something that seems fishy.

1. Websites - If it doesn’t look right it probably isn’t

Most of us naturally do price comparisons when it comes to gifts as well as travel arrangements, if a website you have never used before is advertising the thing you want at a much cheaper price than more reputable websites then question this! Does this website look legitimate and why is it so much cheaper?

There are lots of fake websites that pop up this time of the year, offering goods for less and then when people pay and the product doesn’t arrive, you cannot get hold of anyone and it’s unlikely you will get your money back especially if you unwillingly used an insecure payment checkout.

If the website does look legitimate or you want to make sure, then the first port of call is checking out customer reviews on Trustpilot - this will let you know if others have had issues with the website or if products have or haven’t turned up. If there are no reviews then I would also avoid as it’s likely this website is brand new and just been set up to catch people out this time of the year.

Christmas present


2. Scams

When it comes to emails, texts and posts always be on guard when it comes to opening attachments or being encouraged to click links from senders you have not had communication with before. If something looks suspicious it probably is and the first thing you should do is check the sender's email - if it doesn’t look official it’s not, just remember that banks will never ask for personal information via email and postal services will not charge a delivery fee via text.

As standard it’s important to have a basic antivirus for PC which will offer real-time protection and help prevent phishing and online fraud.

3. Mobile phone safety

Only download apps from official sources such as Google play or the App Store and don’t be tempted to get them elsewhere as this could result in you being a victim of fraud. Also always make sure your mobile phone software and operating system is up to date as this will increase the in-built security features. Always note your passwords for your phone and online accounts and regularly update them to strengthen them.

online shopping

4. Protecting your online data while travelling

If you do things like online banking, transactions or just streaming content when you are out and about you want to think about getting something like Bitdefender VPN service which allows you to bank, stream and download without exposing a single byte of personal information, especially when using shared wifi platforms. VPN services offer high-security encryption and hide your location, stop unwanted ads and offer an extra level of cyber security

The main thing is to be aware and follow your gut, if it doesn’t look legitimate it's best to check or avoid it, as well as set up extra levels of protection to keep your personal data and finances protected.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing, there are so many scams out there at the moment, especially over the festive period when people are spending more online.

    Jenny x


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