In the last year, four million UK shoppers have been victims of online fraud, losing a total of £1.5bn. To help reduce this, Barclays customers are being offered free access to Kaspersky’s suite of products that keep financial information safe and have created a range of tools and advice working with Getsafeonline.org.
Alex Grant, Managing Director, Fraud Prevention at Barclays, said: "As the number of people shopping online is set to peak this Monday (2 December) - 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."
Despite online shopping becoming part of the fabric of life in the UK, a recent survey showed there are still large numbers of consumers who have a naïve attitude to the risk of fraud with over a quarter admitting that they don't take the precautionary measure to protect their finances online.
The top tips on how to protect yourself whilst shopping online this festive season are:
- Keep contact details up to date: ensure your bank has up-to-date mobile/telephone contact numbers for you so they can speak to you if they spot unusual or suspicious activity on your account.
- Get up to date security software: make sure your computer and your web-enabled phone are protected with up-to-date internet security software. Look for the 'S': only ever access your internet banking or shopping sites by typing the address into your browser - never go to a website from a link in an email and then enter personal details. Always ensure when transacting online that the URL starts HTTPS rather than HTTP, or has the gold padlock icon, and use only official apps for mobile banking.
- Treat all unsolicited emails with caution: don't click on links or open attachments in emails you weren't expecting or are not sure about.
- Use strong passwords: passwords should have a mix of letters (upper and lower case) numbers and symbols - avoid obvious things like your name, birthday or phone number that others can guess.
- Be cautious with online auctions: for higher value items, such as cars and other vehicles, try to see the items before sending any money and always use the insured methods of payment for the internet site rather than direct payments to a seller. Log out after shopping and save the confirmation email as a record of your purchase, and make sure you have registered your cards with Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode.
To learn more on protecting yourself whilst shopping online this festive season visit: