GCHQ has issued an warning of cyber security scams on Black Friday.
Black Friday sales could be targeted as easy pickings for cyber-crime, according to Cheltenham-based GCHQ.
The National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, is advising shoppers of the risk of online threats. It is the first such official cyber security warning in the run up to Christmas.
GCHQ wants to start a “national cyber-chat” today (Black Friday), when billions are spent online. Known for working in secret, the agency wants to be open and engage with the public over the seriousness of the threat.
The National Cyber Security Centre has tackled more than 550 significant cyber incidents over the past year, and has taken down almost 140,000 “phishing” websites.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is giving tips for shoppers to avoid cyber-crime – and for the first time it will be publishing answers to questions from the public on Twitter.
The agency recently warned of a serious and sustained threat from elite hackers in other countries, which could include the theft of millions from retailers and attacks on the financial networks the shops depend on.
The British Retail Consortium is backing the calls for better cyber security during the Christmas shopping season, and retailers continue to invest heavily in protecting themselves against cyber-threats.
The National Cyber Security Centre’s advice to reduce the risk of cyber crime is:
- Install the latest software and app updates
- Type in a shop’s website address rather than clicking on links in emails
- Choose strong and separate passwords for accounts
- Keep an eye on bank accounts for unrecognised payments
- Avoid over-sharing unnecessary information with shops, even if they ask
- Make sure all your home gadgets are secure
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