The UK’s cybersecurity agency is urging people to be wary of scams when buying Mother’s Day presents online.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued the advice amid an ongoing rise in online shopping because of coronavirus restrictions.
Shoppers are being urged to follow six key principles as part of the NCSC’s Cyber Aware scheme to promote safe behaviour online, such as setting a strong and separate password for email and keeping devices and apps up to date with the latest software.
It also advises people to create stronger passwords by using three random words, saving their passwords in their browser, back up data and switch on two-factor authentication – which adds an extra layer of security to the log-in process.
The NCSC said cybercriminals often look to cash in on key moments when online shopping habits increase and Mother’s Day could be such an event given the ongoing lockdown restrictions.
As well as following good practice when it comes to online behaviour, the NCSC encouraged people to forward any suspicious messages they receive to its Suspicious Email Reporting Service using the email address email@example.com.
Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for economy and society, said: “Cybercriminals are opportunistic and always ready to exploit peak online shopping moments, and unfortunately, family occasions like Mother’s Day are no different.
“We want everyone to shop with confidence and peace of mind this Mother’s Day. The Cyber Aware website has advice on the six key behaviours that can be easily followed to protect yourself.”