GCHQ warns on Black Friday cyber threats

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Black Friday may be an amazing time to get your hands on some cheap hardware, but cyber criminals will be stalking unsuspecting prey, trying to either scam them out of their hard-earned greens, or get their hands on customer data.

This time around, however, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is entering the fray, looking to help protect the general public from fraud.

"It's vital that knowledge is shared," Ian Levy of the cyber-agency told the BBC. With that in mind, it will kick off a “national cyber-chat”. Going forward, the NCSC will be giving tips to individual consumers on how to stay safe online, and it will be publishing its answers via Twitter.

"Staying safe online doesn't require deep technical knowledge, and we want the whole country to know that the NCSC speaks the same language as them," said Mr Levy, the cyber-defence agency's technical director.

"With so many of the UK shopping online, we want to see these tips shared from classrooms and scout groups to family dinner tables and old people's homes."

There are a few tips the NCSC shared with everyone looking to stay safe:

  • Get antivirus software
  • Don’t reuse old passwords, and create separate passwords for different services
  • Don’t click on links in emails, especially if you’re not positive about the sender. Instead, type the address in the browser yourself
  • Give shops only the most necessary information
  • Keep tabs on your bank accounts for unrecognised payments
  • Keep your tech secure

Image source: Shutterstock/BeeBright