Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is urging people to stay safe online and keep cyber criminals permanently locked out in 2017.
As eager shoppers prepare to hit the New Year sales online, he's reminding people to ensure they shop from a trusted source and to check the safety of their transactions through the presence of a padlock symbol.
New internet devices can be more susceptible to attack if security software and updates have not been downloaded and owners are being warned to take simple steps to protect themselves from the outset
Top safety tips:
Perform a cyber health check - ensure the latest versions of software are downloaded and installed, update Antivirus regularly and keep ‘Firewall' switched on
Always use strong, unique passwords for every website you visit and change them regularly. It is advisable to install a password manager to maintain this for you.
Never reveal personal and financial information online as it could be used to commit scams and online fraud.
Use the privacy and security settings on social media sites to ensure only friends and family can see your pages. Even if your account is locked as private, information you have shared could be accessed through one of your contacts' pages.
Never post personal information such as your address or phone number online.
Set your new smartphone to lock after a short time and ensure it requires an authentication code for unlocking.
Don't click on links in emails and texts, even if they appear to come from a bank or other institution. If you think the message is valid, log into your account directly without using any external links.
"While it won't prevent every incident of online fraud or theft, it can make it much harder for a hacker or identity thief to breach your security barriers and reduce your chances of falling victim to cybercrime.