On the Christmas list this year: socks, jewellery & better cybersecurity


During the holiday season consumers need to be extra vigilant for fraudsters. Between November 2021 and January 2022 a staggering £15.3m was lost, and the NCSC’s warning about online perils for shoppers during this period serves as an important reminder for cybersecurity awareness.

Opportunistic bad actors will use seasonal retail surges to their advantage as they look to obtain financial and personal information. Fraudsters could use fake retailer websites that mimic real ones, or engage in phishing on social media accounts, posing as a customer service agent. Deception can happen through numerous tactics, so consumers need to be cognisant of the multitude of weapons in the cybercriminal’s arsenal.

Using a credit card for purchases adds a degree of protection for recuperating lost funds, but it doesn’t stop cybercrime in its tracks. Shoppers need to think of their digital identity as of comparative importance to their in-person one – you wouldn’t hand over sensitive information to a stranger, so the same ethos should be applied online.

Looking over any interaction online, particularly when entering card details, with a sceptical eye is vital to help safeguard data. Measures may take up more time, but they’ll shore up defences against potential scams. Setting up multi-factor authentication, using complex passwords and identity verification checks all help combat cybercriminals when they seek to gain account access.