Action Fraud says that online shopping is likely to increase as a result of coronavirus, leading to more opportunities for internet fraud.
The UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime has highlighted email and website scams, and malware as ways in which hackers are expected to target people.
People are advised to use “strong and separate” passwords for email to prevent criminals from accessing personal data.
This could involve creating strong and memorable passwords by stringing three random words together; and turning on two-factor authentication (2FA), which helps to stop hackers from getting into your accounts even if they have your password.
Action Fraud also advises people to regularly update their devices so they contain the latest software, and backing up data to another device or to cloud storage.
People are also advised to use credit cards when shopping online, and to only shop from reputable stores.
Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said that at this time of year people were often rushed into making quick online purchases in the hope of securing a bargain.
“Unfortunately, criminals will see this as an ideal opportunity to take advantage of shoppers and will tempt them with the promise of cheap deals,” she added.
“We advise that you’re cautious of where and who you’re buying from.”