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Expert tips to stay safe against cyber crime this Christmas

December 2023 by Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Consultant at OpenText Security Solutions

This morning it was forecasted that almost £100 million is going to be stolen from thousands of victims this christmas and the Trade body of UK Finance along with Trading Standards say people need to be on their guard over the festive period.
This comes after the National Cyber Security Centre warned that cyber-criminals are using AI to produce more convincing scam emails, fake adverts and websites.

With over 60% of consumers are predicted to shop online this holiday season, and with the rise of social media shops such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, consumers have plenty of choices. The increase in options, while great for shoppers, is good news for cybercriminals as more attack surfaces means more opportunity to scam unsuspected victims.

In response to this, Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Consultant from OpenText Cybersecurity shares important tips on staying safe when shopping this festive period.

• “Keep track of what you buy. A rise in phishing scams alerting consumers via text and email that their packages have been delayed and to “click here” can make you an easy target when not paying attention especially during the holiday rush.”
• “Avoid risky payment methods. Debit cards don’t have the same security protections in place should a problem arise; using a credit card or PayPal can limit your liability.”
• “When buying online, avoid saving your payment information for future purchases. Otherwise, if a site is compromised, your credit card details will be too.”
• “Keep your personal information to yourself. The more you post on social media, the more cyber criminals know. Avoid posting personal details and shopping activity.”
• “Before purchasing from vendors advertising their goods on the internet, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, research the merchant and their reputation – if you have prior positive experiences with them, or know someone who has, even better.”
• “And of course, avoid offers that seem “too good to be true.” If a price seems too low or something seems not quite right, chances are it’s a scam. Items may be low quality or never arrive.”
"Anti-virus software is essential for protecting computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other digital devices from threats like malware, ransomware, phishing and more. Despite your best effort, if you find you unknowingly shopped on an unsecure website or a company you purchased from falls victim to a cyber-attack, protection that extends beyond devices to include identity and privacy is extremely important."


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