Online shoppers are being warned of the risks of cyber-fraud in the lead up the Christmas.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - part of GCHQ - is launching a major campaign called Cyber Aware with its first ever TV ads.

It says over last year's Christmas shopping period there was an average loss of £775 per incident from online shopping fraud.

The NCSC is outlining six key things people can do to protect accounts.

Online shopping has seen a significant growth this year and is likely to continue over the festive period.

The NCSC is working on the campaign with the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to help individuals and organisations to protect themselves online.

Chief executive of the NCSC, Lindy Cameron said: ""Scammers stole millions from internet shoppers last Christmas - but by following our advice, you can protect yourself from the majority of their crimes.

"We hope the Cyber Aware campaign helps people to shop confidently online and enjoy their Christmas."

Statistics by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau reveal that over the 2019 Christmas shopping period (from November to end the of January) there were 17,405 reports of online shopping fraud, reporting a loss of £13.5m - an average of £775 per incident, according to the NCSC.

A television and radio advertising campaign will be running until Christmas eve to advertise the six essential steps to protect online accounts and devices.

These are:

  • Use a strong and separate password for your email
  • Create strong passwords using three random words
  • Save your passwords in your browser
  • Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Update your devices and apps
  • Back up your data.