Make sure you can spot the difference between genuine and fake websites, secure and insecure payment pages, and authentic and counterfeit goods.
You can find more information at www.getsafeonline.org/safechristmas.
Fraudsters love the festive season, using the opportunity to send fake links in emails, texts and posts,
or even email attachments posing as Christmas parcel delivery notifications.
They could also call you claiming to be from your bank, a retailer, a delivery firm or software support company,
but with one aim – stealing your money or identity. If in any doubt, always call the organisation on the number you know to be correct.
Phones, tablets & computers
Protect all new or second-hand internet connected phones, tablets and computers with a reputable security app/software.
Some suppliers offer a single solution that protects multiple devices.
Add a PIN or passcode as soon as you power up.
Ensure all devices are regularly backed up
so you don’t lose your valuable documents and other files, or those precious photos.
Software, operating system and app updates
Download updates to operating systems, apps and software as soon as you’re notified that they’re available.
If you don’t, you risk devices being infected by malware, and possible fraud or identity theft. Better still, set them to update automatically.
Download apps only from official sources such as App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store.
Apps from unofficial sources could result in fraud or identity theft.
Smart devices & wearables
To improve security, passwords on internet connected devices like voice assistants, CCTV cameras,
appliances, kids' toys and fitness watches, should be changed from the factory default as soon as you unpack and switch them on.
Always use different passwords for different devices, websites or accounts to avoid them being hacked.
Be careful what you say within hearing distance of voice assistants as you can’t be sure what conversations they’re picking up.
With new consoles and games coming out this year – and continued use of existing ones – remember to stay safe and secure,
including avoiding oversharing, griefing, overspending on in-game properties and pirated games.
Don’t lose track of how much time you’re spending online.
Pass on this advice to your children too, including what interactions they’re having with strangers.
Second-hand mobile devices
If you’re selling or gifting a computer or mobile device, perform a factory reset to erase your data.
You can find out how from the manufacturer’s website.
If you’ve bought or been given a pre-owned device,
remove the previous owner’s settings and data if this hasn’t already been done.
Out & about with your mobile devices
Wi-Fi hotspots in cafés, pubs, hotel rooms, on public transport or other public areas may not be secure.
They may also be fake, set up by a fraudster.
For this reason, avoid connecting with them if you’re doing anything confidential online.
Keep devices themselves protected from theft or loss. Be wary of people watching your screen over your shoulder.
Stop and ask yourself if what you’re about to share on social media is really necessary.
Could it be helping a fraudster?
Could it give your children a digital footprint they don’t want?
Posting about being away could be telling a burglar that your home is empty.
And why not take a few minutes over Christmas to review your privacy settings?
Help the children and young people in your life to protect themselves.
Have the talk about safe and responsible internet use, including what they share,
who they’re communicating with and the type of content they access,
including apps and games.
Consider downloading a respected parental control app and using ISP filters to block unsuitable content.
Make sure your children aren’t running up bills for in-app or in-game purchases.
This year, many of us will be catching up via a video call.
Apart from using a service that everyone finds easy to use, make sure it’s secure by choosing one that needs a strong password,
and don’t share the call invitation or details outside the group on the call.
Get Safe Online
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of information and advice on online safety and security, for the public and small businesses.
It is a not-for-profit, public/private sector partnership backed by law enforcement agencies and leading organisations in internet security, banking and retail.
For more information and expert, easy-to-follow, impartial advice on safeguarding yourself, your family, finances, devices and workplace, visit
Get Safe on Line
If you think you’ve been a victim of online fraud,
report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre on 0300 123 20 40 or at Action Fraud
In Scotland, report fraud to Police Scotland by calling 101.
The National Trading Standards
If you, or someone you know is in receipt of scam or nuisance mail,
the NTS Scams Teams Investigators want to see it!
They already use the mail that they receive from Scam Marshals
to great effect through their disruption techniques,
but the Team would like to see more and put a stop to these mailings landing on consumers' door steps.
The NTS Scams Team estimate that only 5% of these crimes are reported.
This can be due to a number of reasons like shame or embarrassment, or even that they don't know who to report them to.
Victims of these crimes shouldn't feel ashamed at all, these criminals are experts at what they do and know exactly how to commit their fraud.
Friends Against Scams Team
West Sussex County Council Community Hub
The County Council’s Community Hub remains open and continues to focus
on helping the most vulnerable in our community, providing support, information and guidance.
More details about how the Community Hub can help our vulnerable residents,
their families and carers can be found on WSCC's website.
Urgent requests, for example, someone is going to run out of food or medication in the next three days, please call 0330 222 7980
The new restrictions in place could lead to tensions within local communities.
If you become aware of any such conflict,
please report them:
999 – where an urgent emergency response if required.
101 / https://www.sussex.police.uk/ - to report non-emergency issues.
email@example.com – community based anti-social behaviour.
https://www.arun.gov.uk/jag - partners can complete the community concerns form to report persistent and widespread nuisance or tensions.
©2020 Arun West Neighbourhood Watch.
All rights reserved. Site AWNHW Website Administrator