The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), together with the Cabinet Office, Home Office and DCMS, has relaunched its Cyber Aware campaign to cover the festive period. Our guest explains how they’re helping keep consumers safe online.
This is a guest post by Nicky Hudson of the National Cyber Security Centre. All views expressed are her own, and not necessarily shared by Which?.
This year has been a strange and difficult year for many of us. Technology, however, has helped us adapt to a new kind of ‘normal’ as more aspects of our day-to-day lives move online.
As the festive period approaches, we will spend even more time online, shopping and socialising. However, this also provides more opportunities for fraudsters.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has estimated that cyber criminals stole an average of £775 from each online shopping victim over the same time last year.
With this in mind, our technical experts at the NCSC would like to reiterate the six steps we put together and discussed here back in May that will help people protect themselves from the majority of online crime.
Our NCSC tips for staying secure this Christmas
Use a strong and separate password for your email – Your email is the way into all your online accounts so keep it safe with a unique password.
Create strong passwords using 3 random words – The longer your password, the harder it is to hack. Long passwords can be difficult to remember. But using three random words will help you create passwords that are both long and strong.
Save your passwords in your browser – Remembering lots of passwords can be difficult, but if you save them in your browser you don’t have to and it’s safer than re-using the same password for all your accounts.
Turn on two-factor authentication (2 FA) – This free security feature adds an extra layer of protection online and stops cyber criminals getting into your accounts, even if they have your password.
Update your devices and apps – Using the latest software, apps and operating system can fix bugs and immediately improve your security.
Back up your data – If your device is compromised by a cyber criminal your sensitive personal data can be lost, damaged or stolen. Keep a copy of your important information by backing it up.
From today (4 December), you’ll see and hear more of these tips across TV and radio throughout December as we launch the government’s ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign.
With support from big names such as Microsoft, BT, ASOS and, of course, Which?, we want to equip you with the knowledge to keep you and your loved ones safe from cyber criminals.
It’s never been more important for us all to understand and follow cyber security best practices.
We’ve launched a dedicated website to help you become Cyber Aware, with lots of advice on online safety. I would encourage everyone to visit cyberaware.gov.uk and read our guidance.
Today we have launched the @cyberawaregov campaign, encouraging the public to adopt six practical steps to protect their online accounts and devices.
— NCSC UK (@NCSC) December 4, 2020
Taking these essential steps to secure your data and online accounts won’t take much time and will greatly reduce the chances of hackers giving you a nasty surprise this festive period, into the New Year and beyond.
This was a guest post by Nicky Hudson of the National Cyber Security Centre. All views expressed were her own, and not necessarily shared by Which?.