National Cyber Security Centre launches secure online shopping campaign

David Murphy

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of GCHQ, is launching a major new campaign to help people shop online in a more secure way during the festive shopping period. The push was developed in partnership with M&C Saatchi London.

As part of the ongoing Cyber Aware campaign, the NCSC’s latest push aims to increase cyber resilience and drive uptake of protective online shopping behaviours over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the festive season.

Between November 2022 and January 2023, shoppers lost over £10m to cyber criminals. With online scams becoming more sophisticated, the NCSC’s campaign reminds consumers that it’s more important than ever to have the basics in place when it comes to email security.

The new campaign recommends that shoppers choose three random words for their email password, so it’s easy to remember and harder to hack; and to turn on 2-Step Verification for their email account to get double the protection, so that even if cyber criminals have the password, they can't access their email account. 

A series of executions visualise the concepts of “three random words” and 2-Step Verification in a memorable and eye-catching way. The ads carry the line “Cyber Aware: Take your email security to another level.”

The campaign is running across broadcast video-on-demand, out-of-home, social, digital and audio channels, supported by influencer activity, PR and partnerships. Media planning is managed by Bountiful Cow and media buying is by OmniGov

Every festive season, cyber criminals steal millions from people shopping online, with last year being no different,” said James Stewart, Director of Communications, at the National Cyber Security Centre. “This important campaign aims to help consumers be as safe as possible when doing their festive shopping. By choosing three random words for their email password and adding 2-Step Verification, shoppers can take their security to another level.”