Thames Valley Police Cyber Monday Warning

The Thames Valley force are issuing advice to encourage us to think about security and safety while shopping online for ‘Cyber Monday’.

Figures released last month show £10.9 billion was lost to fraud, including cyber crime, in the UK last year. That's around £210 per person over the age of 16.

During the festive season, there is around a 40% rise in financial loss to individuals and businesses as a result of online fraud according to Get Safe Online.

Here are Thames Valley Police's top tips for online shopping:

  • Trust your instincts – if an offer does not seem genuine, do not take the risk.
  • Stick to trusted websites – look for a green padlock symbol in the web address bar and ‘https’ instead of ‘http’. Fake websites are a way of gaining access to your bank details so make sure online retailers are genuine before making a purchase.
  • Make sure you have strong passwords and use a different password for each website/account you use.
  • Be wary of clicking on links in emails that could take you to a scam website.
  • If are using a public WiFi connection, avoid entering your personal or payment details to make an online purchase.
  • Keep electronic records of your purchases and check your bank statements for any unauthorised transactions.
  • Make sure that you have installed the most recent version of your operating system (for example, Windows) and that you have up-to-date anti-virus and firewall software installed.
  • Think about using a credit card or PayPal to pay for your transactions to offer added security and only use payment methods offered by the website, rather than bank transfers.
  • Use payment verifications such as ‘Verified by Visa’.

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