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Have a happy and safe connected Christmas

This Christmas, whether you're spending time with friends or family, taking a short seasonal break, partying, putting your feet up or working as usual, it's important to remember to keep yourself, your family, finances and devices safe online.

Posted on 3 December 2018

Whatever you’re doing this Christmas using connected devices, we want you to do it safely, which is why we’ve teamed up with Get Safe Online to bring you practical tips to help you have a safe and happy festive season.

Smartphones, tablets and computers

  • Before you start using new or pre-owned internet-connected devices, make sure they’re protected with anti-virus software and a PIN or passcode.
  • Upload updates, as soon as you are prompted.
  • Only download apps from official sources, such as App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store.
  • Regularly back up your valuable documents, photos and other files.

Children and young people

  • Sit down and talk to your children about safe and responsible use of the internet, including what they share, who they’re communicating with and what content they’re accessing – including apps and games.
  • Consider using a respected parental control app to block unsuitable content.
  • Make sure bills aren’t being run up for in-game purchases.

Don’t overshare

  • It’s great to share good times on social media, but think before you post - Is it really necessary?  Could it provide confidential information for a fraudster? Posting that the family is out or away for a seasonal break is a big clue for burglars that your home is empty.
  • Posting photos of your kids is creating or adding to their online presence.
  • Take a few minutes during the Christmas break to update your privacy settings.

Connected devices and wearables

  • For new connected devices, such as voice assistants, phones, tablets, CCTV cameras, appliances or kids’ toys, change passwords, from the factory-set one to your own, straight away to improve security.

Second-hand devices

  • If you’ve bought a pre-owned device, remove the previous owner’s settings and data, if this hasn’t been done already.
  • If you’re selling a device, carry out a factory reset to prevent others seeing your data.

Out and about with connected devices

  • Don’t use public WiFi hotspots for anything confidential – it’s safer to use 3G or 4G.
  • Keep your devices secure - they can make attractive targets for thieves.


  • Clicking on email attachments or links in unexpected emails, text messages and posts could infect your device with malware and/or compromise your online security.
  • Unexpected phone calls claiming to be from banks, retailers, delivery firms or software support companies should be treated with caution.

Read our top tips to protect yourself, your family, finances and connected devices

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