Stay safe online this holiday

Christmas may be over for another year and hopefully you've had an enjoyable and worry-free time doing all those Christmassy things online … buying your presents and festive food, chatting to friends and family, setting up that new smartphone or tablet or booking a new year break.

So what are you doing online this week? Whatever it is, we'd like you stay safe.

For example, if you're shopping for sale bargains online, make sure the websites you're visiting are authentic, and the pages where you're entering your payment card details are secure – with an 'https' at the beginning of the address and a green padlock in the browser frame. You can find all the information you need here.

If, like many people, you're thinking about a new year skiing holiday or looking further ahead to the summer, take some time to check out the tour operator and again, take care when paying for it online. See our holiday advice page here.

Or if you're chatting to friends and family online either on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter – or using Skype or one of the many instant messaging services – get the best safety advice by clicking here

New year, new romance? Online dating can be a great way to meet people, but it's also becoming an increasingly common place for criminals posing as suitors to defraud unsuspecting people looking for love. Get some sound advice on online dating here.

And as always, keep an eye open for emails inviting you to click on links, or with attachments. Even if they appear to be from friends, take a little time to read the content and see if it sounds like your friend who's actually written it. More advice here

Take a look around this website and have a happy and safe new year. And please keep coming back to Get Safe Online in 2013, because we're constantly updating the site with up-to-the-minute news and information.

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