With Christmas shopping mania just around the corner, online fraud tends to peak due to the increased amount of online purchases with Black Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day sales all in quick order. At Koyo, we outline the top 5 tips for staying safe online this Christmas and beyond.  

Tip #1: Research websites that have deals that seem ‘too good to be true’ 

The sad truth is normally deals that are ‘too good to be true’ are just that – they’re not.  

Fraudsters have become very good at replicating genuine looking websites, and making people believe that the offers they promote online are real. Always look at review websites, such as Trustpilot, for reviews of the website or business you’re buying from. If there are lots of positive reviews, you can feel safer about purchasing through the website you’ve found.  

Tip #2: Be wary of bogus emails 

People tend to get an increased volume of emails during Christmas. Either promoting offers, or confirming orders and deliveries. Fraudsters know this too and try and trick you into believing a fake email is genuine. If you’re at all suspicious of an email you receive, the best course of action is to not do anything. Instead, contact the company the email is from directly (either online, or over the phone), and confirm the message you’ve received is genuine.  

Tip #3: Always log-out after completing a purchase 

Once you’ve purchased your Christmas present, always log out when you’ve finished shopping. Closing the window doesn’t work, and it could let fraudsters access your account where you’ve saved address history and bank account information.  

Tip #4: Keep your computer up-to-date

It’s important to always keep software up-to-date. Fraudsters use weaknesses in old versions of software to steal personal data and hack accounts. Not keeping software updated risks your payment data being readily available to malicious attacks.

Tip #5: Regularly check bank and credit card statements 

Whilst checking statements isn’t always the most fun activity, it’s crucial to stay on top of your budgets. At Christmas, people tend to have more transactions per week than in normal months. It’s easier to miss fraudulent activity during this busy period, so make sure you keep a close eye on outgoings.

Koyo’s take in a nutshell:  

Have common sense. Most fraudulent activity occurs when common sense isn’t applied. Always have your wits about you, and even more so during the Christmas period where fraudulent activity spikes. 

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