The summer holidays are over, our youngsters are back at school and nearly back at college or uni, and the Christmas cards are already on the shelves! It seems that the festive season is just around the corner again.
Christmas and New Year are the favourite time of year for many of us …. a time to share with family and friends, to give and receive gifts and enjoy a well-deserved few days off from work. Unfortunately, however, it’s also a favourite time of year for fraudsters. And even though it’s only September, now’s the time to be vigilant about some of the areas they will be particularly active in.
This year, more of us than ever will be shopping online, and as always we need to be aware of fake websites, substandard or non-existent goods or making payments on sites that aren’t secure. Although a wonderful time of year, Christmas can be quite stressful with a lot to remember. Cybercriminals are aware of this and will exploit your anxiety to ensure that everything goes with a swing, including shopping for those last-minute presents.
Whether you’re planning a Christmas or New Year short break or heading for the ski slopes, you’ll probably be booking online, so you need to be wary of some of the scams that are doing the rounds – especially bogus holiday sites and insecure payment pages. And don’t forget: if you’re going to leave the house empty – whether it’s for two weeks or just one night – don’t advertise the fact on Facebook!
The festive season can be a very lonely time for some, and there are unscrupulous people out there who will not hesitate to exploit this loneliness for their personal gain. If you do decide to try online dating, read our hints and tips first, and make sure your Christmas romance is a happy affair.
Now’s the time when many people are arranging parties – either for the office, friends or family. If that’s your job and you’re booking a Christmas party or meal online, remember the rules like checking out the venue to ensure that it’s genuine, not clicking on links contained in emails purporting to be from hotels or other venues, and making sure the web page is secure before you part with any money. And when party time arrives, don’t forget to keep that mobile phone securely about your person where pickpockets can’t their hands on it. Tell your friends too!
When that shiny new computer arrives, how are you going to dispose of the old one? These days, there’s a lot more to it than just unplugging it and taking it to the local dump … although that’s what many people still do. What about the data on your old PC? Personal documents, photos, contact lists, passwords? Even if you think you’ve deleted everything, it doesn’t take much for a criminal to find the information they want on your hard drive. Read about safe computer disposal on this website.
Watch this space for more information and news about keeping safe online as we head toward Christmas.