It’s that time of year again !

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s never been a better time to be more vigilant when it comes to online transactions and how your data is being used.  We know scammers are prevalent year-round, however, Christmas time tends to bring a heightened awareness.

With more and more people turning to the web to do their shopping for ease and convenience, it’s a playground for scammers and cybercrime.  Although we take it for granted that we’re taking the necessary steps to protect our data, there’s no harm in reminding ourselves as it’s easy to become complacent.

When was the last time you changed your password?

All too often we use something personal to us which actually can be easy for scammers to detect - it’s amazing what information/names etc can be gleamed from social media platforms so make sure you use something obscure, and regularly update it.  While it might be more difficult to remember, there are apps which allow you store your passwords.

Mobile devices are becoming even more sophisticated with the use of fingerprint or touch/voice/face ID so take advantage of what’s available to you.  

You’ll be surprised at what information pops up on your phone’s lock screen.  Notifications are handy but they’re also a window of opportunity.  Disable lock-screen app notifications and you’re taking one further step to hiding any personal details from popping up.

Mobile devices are by far the most popular device for searching the web and making online purchases. Where possible if you’re buying and selling online (particularly through Facebook buy and sell groups, eBay), you can keep your number private by using a burner phone app, which creates a new phone number allowing you to send/receive texts, calls and photos from your primary device while keeping your personal number private.

Go under cover! Keep your browsing history private by using the incognito mode.  If you tend to use free WiFI hotspots, use a VPN where possible to protect your personal information. 

Cyber safety doesn’t have to be complex, but it’s worth taking a few minutes to review your current processes.