Christmas is a time of cheer and joy, celebration and goodwill, but unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when scam artists prey on the unsuspecting! With this in mind, the following list is aimed at helping you stay alert and be aware of possible scams. When it comes to social engineering attacks, knowledge is power! MetaCompliance will use the first twelve days of Christmas to educate you and help you become cyber-aware over the festive period.
On the first day of Christmas… Fraudsters are waiting on you!
We all lead busy lives, it can be stressful juggling daily commitments and tasks, then all of a sudden it’s December and you have a mountain of Christmas shopping to be done. Online shopping has become a welcome lifeline. Choosing, ordering and paying for goods without leaving the comfort of our homes. However, this convenience comes with a warning- be careful! Below are some useful tips to help keep you safe online and alert against cybercrime.
- Always stick to secure reputable sites. Fraudsters can imitate legitimate sites in an attempt to get their hands on your personal information and payment details. You should never follow links to sites, instead type the URL into your browser. Before you type your details online you should make sure that the address in your address bar begins with https:// rather than http://. The S stands for secure.
- Before making a payment online, ensure that the webpage has a padlock symbol displayed in the browser window, it’s usually located in the address bar along the top, never on the main web page itself. The presence of this symbol indicates that your financial details will be encrypted as it travels to the retailer, adding another layer of security.
- You should exercise caution when buying from overseas websites. It’s important to remember that when buying from UK based sites you are protected by the same consumer laws that apply to high street stores. If you buy from abroad and the goods are faulty or do not arrive, you are not protected in the same way.
- Where possible, if your purchase is over £100 in value it can be a good idea to pay by credit card rather than debit card. This is because purchases on credit cards fall under the Consumer Credit Directive. This means that if something goes wrong, the card provider will be in a position to reimburse you.
- As well as practicing vigilance you should follow standard security practices and ensure that you keep your PC updated and have anti-virus installed, keep your passwords safe, change them often, and most importantly- trust your instinct! If you have any concerns or doubts about the authenticity of a site, don’t risk it!