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WHAT DOES CHRISTMAS MEAN TO YOU?

Spending time with friends or family?

Getting away from it all with a seasonal break?

Pubbing or clubbing?

Simply putting your feet up?

Or maybe you’re working as usual.

Whatever you’re doing this Christmas using connected devices, do it safely with some help from our experts.

Smartphones, Tablets & Computers

Before you start using new or pre-owned internet-connected devices – including Apple phones, tablets and computers – make sure they’re protected with a security app/software and a PIN or passcode. Upload updates to operating systems, apps and software as soon as prompted. Download apps only from official sources such as App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store. Perform regular backups to safeguard your valuable documents, photos and other files. More info …

Children & Young People

Many people say that Christmas is all about kids; make sure the ones in your life are safe. Sit down and speak to them about safe and responsible use of the internet, including what they share, who they’re communicating with and what content they’re accessing – including apps and games. Consider downloading a respected parental control app to block unsuitable content. And make sure that bills aren’t being run up for in-game purchases. More info …

Don’t Overshare

It’s great to share good times on social media, but think before you post; is it really necessary, and could it provide confidential information for a fraudster? Posting that the family is out or away for a seasonal break is a big clue for burglars that your home is empty. Posting photos of your kids is creating or adding to their online presence. Take a few minutes during the Christmas break to update your privacy settings. More info …

Connected Devices & Wearables

For new connected devices such as voice assistants, CCTV cameras, appliances or kids’ toys, change passwords the from factory-set ones to your own straight away to improve security. This goes for phones and tablets too. More info …

Second-Hand Mobile Devices

If you’ve bought a pre-owned device, remove the previous owner’s settings and data if this hasn’t already been done. If you’re selling, carry out a reset to prevent others seeing your data. You can find out how from the manufacturer’s website. More info …

Out & About with Connected Devices

If you’re out socialising or staying at a hotel, don’t use public Wi-Fi hotspots if you’re doing anything confidential online as you can’t assume they’re secure. Keep the devices themselves secure as they can make attractive targets for thieves. More info …

Scams

Christmas is a favourite time of year for fraudsters too. Clicking on email attachments or links in unexpected emails, text messages and posts could infect your device with malware and/or compromise your personal or financial security. Unexpected phone calls claiming to be from banks, retailers, parcel firms or software support companies should be treated with caution. More info …

If you think you’ve been a victim of online fraud, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre on 0300 123 20 40 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk In Scotland, call Police Scotland on 101.