Avoid Cyber Scams And Shop Safely Online This Christmas

November 25, 2016 by No Comments | Category Money, Safer Marketing

Are you sick of Slade already, or is it just me? For lots of people, online Christmas shopping offers respite – and cost savings – from the eye-popping explosion of tinsel and plastic Santas that line every retail premises from John O’Groats to…well, you get the drift.

Following hot on the heels of Black Friday, Cyber Monday on the 28th November is the world’s biggest online shopping day with many retailers offering flash discounts. Unfortunately, with cyber opportunity comes cyber crime.

Most reputable retailers try to make it as safe as possible for their customers to do business with them online, but today’s cybercriminals are skilled at creating fake websites, and persuading you to do what they want.

But if we take a few simple steps, we can shop more safely online and beat the scammers. Two key things that everyone should do are:

1. Use Genuine And Secure Websites And Apps
Make sure the retailer is genuine and trusted – go direct to the retailer’s website rather than clicking on links from emails, or download retail apps from a recognised app store. Check if the payment page is secure. There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame which appears when you attempt to log in or register, and the address of the page should start with ‘https://’ The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.

credit-card2. Pay By Credit Card Or An E-Money Website/App Like Paypal or Google Wallet
Paying by credit card offers greater protection from fraud, non-delivery and dishonoured product warranties. Also check your payment card statements regularly to make sure you’ve been charged the right amount, and check your card hasn’t been cloned and other purchases made in your name.

Cyber savvy businesses
It’s increasingly important to customers  to know that businesses are taking cyber crime seriously and are looking after their personal information.  What steps are your organisation taking to make sure you have appropriate cyber security measures in place, and could you recover your business and reputation if you were hit by a serious cyber attack?

There are a few things that all businesses can do to keep themselves and their customers safe from cyber crime. Learn how to protect your business at

Spread the cyber savvy word?
Let your colleagues, customers and stakeholders know about these simple steps on becoming more resilient online. If you can blog, email, tweet, Facebook – anyway you can share the message about keeping safe online when shopping for Christmas – you will be helping to  make a difference.

The SG’s Cyber Resilience Strategy Team are pulling together a comms toolkit with leaflets, tweets, images and posts from a range of trusted sources. Please let Kerry Jardine know if you’d like to be added to the distribution list.

For more tips and information, follow us on Twitter @CyberResScot

get-safe-online (pdf, 1MB)

Guest Blog – Kerry Jardine – Cyber Security Resilience, Scottish Government

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