Staying protected over the holidays


When shopping online for Christmas be wary of fake websites offering great prices. Many people fall victim to fake sites over the Christmas period because we all love a good deal, so why wouldn’t we go for one if we see it. Wrong, many sites with great deals on expensive products tend to be false websites wanting your data and information.

Strong passwords

These are your first line of defence against would be attackers. Don’t make it easy for them, never use any word which is related to you and may be easy to guess, for example by looking at your social media pages. Absolutely never use family pet’s names, other family members’ name, favourite holidays, current partner’s name, child’s name, place of birth or even Something related to your favourite sports team.

A simple method is to simply choose three random words. Numbers and symbols can still be used, however, using three random words can be the key to creating a strong password.

Antiviruses and Firewalls

Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/anti spyware software and firewall running before you go online.

Having great antivirus software is crucial on any device this will be the ultimate protection from cyber criminals.

Check for the Padlock

Look out for the padlock icon on the address bar, whether this be before the web address or after. It depends on your browser but it will be there if it is safe.

The padlock Icon shows you that the website is a secure site.

Check the Domain Name

Many fake websites reference well-known brands in their domain name, however this will not be the official website for the product, be cautious of this when shopping online.

Be wary of sites which end in .net or .org as these are rarely used for online shopping sites.

Don’t pay by bank transfer

If you are ever asked to pay for products via a bank transfer online then this should raise alarm bells. Legitimate online retailers would never ask you to pay via a transfer!


Check whether the website is HTTP or HTTPS because there is a crucial difference between two.

HTTP= Unsecure Protocol, this means any communications on the site can be intercepted, manipulated and even stolen

HTTPS= Secure Protocol, this is more secure that HTTP as it cannot be interrupted.

Never trust a HTTP website with personal data!

Messages from retailers

Scammers will often send out emails pretending to be your well – known and trusted retailers, things to look out for are, unrecognised email address, A warning from your provider that this is a spam email and the fact you may not have even shopped there.

Use secure connections

Do not pay for goods when using an unsecured WiFi connection. An obvious statement we know, but being on an unsecured WiFi connection could make users vulnerable to every kind of cyber crime.

 Stay safe

 Contact one of our trained Cyber Security engineers today for further advice on staying protected online…