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Stay safe on Cyber Monday (and every day)

December 2nd 2013

It's 'Cyber Monday' ... the busiest online shopping day of the year approaches, and we're joining forces with our partners, other internet safety organisations and law enforcement / crime prevention agencies to urge you to take care when buying those presents online. 

To see our top tips to keep safe while doing your Christmas shopping online, click here

It is expected that nearly 34 million people in the UK are planning to buy Christmas presents on the internet this year, wtih today being the busiest day.

Last week, however, Get Safe Online - in conjunction with Barclays Bank, leading internet security organisation Kaspersky Lab, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and Action Fraud - released the following worrying statistics on online shopping crime:

- Online fraud has cost UK shoppers £1.5bn since the last festive season

 - There have been four million online fraud victims in the UK in the last year, with  an average loss  of £371

Despite internet shopping now being part of everyday life in the UK, there are still many people (27%) who admit that they do not take sufficient precautions to protect their finances online. Are you one of them? You can read some real life stories from shoppers who have been defrauded online by clicking here.

To prevent the festive period becoming a windfall for fraudsters,we are combining to encourage you to be more 'netwise' and to pay greater attention to your internet security.

Alex Grant, Managing Director, Fraud Prevention at Barclays, said: “As the number of people shopping online is set to peak this Monday – with 33.6 million of us planning to do our shopping on the web this Christmas – cyber-criminals will have a field day if precautions aren’t taken. Our research has shown that internet shoppers will be faced with a high level of threat to their personal and financial information as they hit the online stores this Christmas. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Kaspersky Lab to offer all our customers free access to their suite of products that keep financial information safe and have created a range of tools and advice working with Get Safe Online."  Alex continues:L “If everyone takes some simple steps, we can all avoid giving fraudsters a gift this Christmas.” To ensure that its Online and Mobile Banking Customers are protected when they shop online, Barclays offers them the award-winning Kaspersky Internet Security Suite, Kaspersky Mobile Security Suite and Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Mac free of charge.

Older shoppers more cautious

When it comes to taking precautions online, we could all do well to follow the cautious habits of older shoppers. While over eight in ten (82%) of over 55s take precautionary measures to protect their finances, just six in ten (62%) 18-24 year olds do the same.

Get Safe Online CEO and respected online security spokesman Tony Neate commented: “I’ve been talking to people about shopping safely online for years but every Christmas, without fail, I see worrying statistics about people being scammed online. £1.5 billion is a huge amount of money.  The problem is, scams are evolving and getting more sophisticated all the time, they also change as trends come and go so it’s understandable that people sometimes get caught out.”  Tony continued: "Not only does the older generation take the necessary steps to safeguard their online purchases, nearly nine in 10 (87%) say they always consider the risks of online fraud when making a purchase, compared to less than seven out of ten (68%) of their younger counterparts."

David Emm, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab said: “Fraud is not the only thing that will be putting Brits at risk when they hit the online stores this Christmas. In 2013 more than one in three people encountered malware when searching the web. With the anticipated spike in online shopping traffic in the run up to Christmas, this statistic must act as a red flag reminder that we need to protect ourselves against the variety of cyber threats we may face." On a more postivie  note, David said: “The good news here is that the answer to protecting ourselves against these threats lies in common sense. There are simple tools and tricks we can all employ when shopping online to avoid risk – such as being mindful of where you log on to the Internet and keeping your personal information secure. It’s not dissimilar to offline safety.  It might be OK to walk alone at night – but it’s risky. If we take the right precautions in the first place (for example taking well-lit routes, staying close to our friends), the risk reduces. We should adopt a similar common sense mindset when we shop online.”

Tony Neate concluded: “At Get Safe Online we make it our responsibility to try and highlight new types of fraud as much as we can to keep shoppers safe online. What consumers need to do is keep the basics in mind as a good preventative measure.  We know that Christmas is a busy and stressful time for people so we don’t try and overwhelm people with over complicated advice. If you’ve manage to hunt down that perfect present that you’ve been traipsing round the high street for online, at a fraction of the cost, take a step back and think before you buy it. Is it too good to be true?”