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TalkTalk is urging consumers to refocus their attention on IT security over the Christmas period.

According to the broadband provider, home internet users should be taking a number of basic steps to defend their systems and personal data from external attack.

TalkTalk urged consumers to change the passwords for their most important accounts, describing lousy protections as "a sin".

The firm has also urged broadband users against posting the details of their travel arrangements on social networking websites - as this can jeopardise their general household security.

"If you do want to let a group of people know where you’re going, consider email, and if you must use Facebook, make sure you’ve got your privacy settings sorted," the provider stated.

TalkTalk has also advised consumers to take the geo-tagging data off their images.

Next, the service provider has called on consumers to ensure any financial transactions they conduct over the internet are secure.

With more people buying goods online in the run up to Christmas, the risks associated with e-commerce are potentially higher.

"Only buy from companies that you trust and search on their sites rather than through search engines, if possible," TalkTalk added.

"If you’re paying with a card online, use the same card for all your transactions and keep an eye on the account at least weekly for anything suspicious."

Finally, TalkTalk urged broadband subscribers to ensure their IT security software is up to date.

The firm said that despite most people being aware of the risks associated with the internet, there are a surprising number who still don’t have proper security set up.

TalkTalk broadband deal subscribers gain access to the firm's HomeSafe service, which is built into the firm's network.

This security tool is designed to protect every device using TalkTalk broadband.

HomeSafe has three basic features, Kid Safe - which helps protect minors from seeing inappropriate websites - Virus Alerts - which stops external attacks and issues warnings if suspicious sites are visited - and Homework Time - which filters out social media and gaming websites at certain times of the day.

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