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Find out how F-Secure can keep you safe online when doing your festive shopping

F-Secure Christmas tips

Have you made a Christmas list? Checked it twice? Well here’s a handy guide to ensure you avoid the naughty and keep things nice when shopping for the items online.


The nights have drawn in and the decorations are going up on the high street. Yes, it’s Christmas shopping season already, and your list is probably already longer than you imagined it would be! But with Black Friday around the corner, it’s the perfect time to discover even more great finds – and there’s no easier way to do this than online.


Unfortunately though, the increase in the number of online orders placed over the holiday season also means a rise in the number of scams. So it’s important to be as wary as you are merry in the lead-up to the most wonderful time of the year. Read on for five top tips from online security experts F-Secure on how to shop safe this Christmas, and to find out more about how Virgin Media customers can get F-Secure SAFE free for the first 12 months. 


1. Be careful where you click and what emails you open

Christmas offers will start to flood your inbox as the big day draws near. This is one area where you need to be extra vigilant. Most scam messages will try to get you to click on a link that, once clicked, could cause malware to be downloaded to your device.


Normally these messages will be in the form of an email with an amazing offer in it, and it could even look like it’s been sent from a company you know. If you click a link and unknowingly download malware, and then use your credit card information or passwords, the malware might log this information and send it who knows where. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

2. Look for “https” and the padlock symbol in the address bar

The green padlock symbol is a useful icon to look out for when online shopping, because it tells you that the website you are accessing is secure. A legitimate website will always have a web address that begins with “https” (instead of just “http”) and display a padlock symbol in the address bar too. If it doesn’t have these, get out of there!


3. Set up a dedicated, separate and up-to-date browser

This is an easy fix for safely conducting browsing activities involving financial transactions, like online shopping and banking. It doesn’t matter if you are using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Just make sure that you open and use one browser for transactions, and use a different one for things like social media, games and browsing, to keep your passwords and personal details separate.

4. Disable Java

Few people really need Java on their computers, so if you have it and don’t know why, the likelihood is that you don’t need it! The easiest and safest thing to do is simply uninstall it, because it is notorious for causing security issues. If you do need it to access a particular website, again, it’s best to do this in a separate browser. Here’s an easy guide on how to do it, no matter what browser you use.

5. Auto update Adobe Flash

Another simple trick is to set Adobe Flash to update automatically if you use it. This will make sure that you’re getting all of the latest updates and should reduce the chance of you being tricked into downloading malware that’s posing as a legitimate update. So turn those “background upgrades” on. Want to know how? Find out right here.


If you do only one thing before you start your online shopping this Christmas, install proper online security. Without it, you leave yourself open to a whole host of scams and threats. And it’s easy and free to do as a Virgin Media customer…


Find out more about F-Secure SAFE

To give you and your family peace of mind to shop safely online, all Virgin Media customers can get F-Secure SAFE and protect up to five of the family’s smartphones, tablets or computers. It’s free for the first 12 months (normal RRP is £79.99) and there’s no upfront commitment – credit card details are taken at the end of the free period. After that, it’s just £25 per year. To get protected, simply register here, then install F-Secure SAFE on all your devices.


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F-Secure: New F-Secure customers only. Registration required. One subscription per Virgin Media customer. Not available on BlackBerry. Current retail price £79.99, see Up to 5 devices.