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SAFE On-Line Shopping Tips from G&L's Tech Guru

The next entry in our staff blog series of the Goldluu's is from our "Team Techy," Norman. Stay safe this holiday shopping season with his tips!

From Black Friday deals to holiday specials, the holiday shopping season is here again but with a twist. With both statewide and countywide “Stay-At-Home" orders and the fears of in-person, brick-and-mortar shopping, today's shoppers are relying more and more on online retailers for deals and gifts. And with it, the chances of falling victim to cyber criminals will be on the rise. With so many coveted items this season like the new video gaming console, Sony’sPlaystation 5, you are reminded of Tyco’s Tickle Me Elmo toy craze from the 90's. Though internet shopping was not as common practice then, as it is today, online shoppers will face similar challenges if not more. Scalpers, scammers and identify thieves are on the prowl for susceptible victims.

Here are my Top 3 online shopping tips to keep in mind during the holiday season:

  1. Be careful of ads and promotions with clickable web links.
    • Scammers will attempt to trick you into clicking their links to redirect you to their fake websites. Most scammers make their fake websites look like the real deal in order to steal your personal and credit card information.
    • Before clicking on a link, hover over the link with your mouse curser to see the URL. If it looks weird, do not click it!
    • You can use "https://www.islegitsite.com“ to check legitimacy of a website.
    • Be careful of offers that look "too good to be true."
      • Always visit the brand’s website to check out a deal.
      • If the offer is from a third-party seller, check the legitimacy of the website by using "https://www.islegitsite.com."
    • Be careful of unsecured websites.
      • Unsecured websites will have no encryption when sending data back and forth to your browser. Hackers can intercept and steal that information which can include anything from what you order, your personal and credit card information.
      • Always use secured websites that have SSL Certificates. The URL will always start with “HTTPS” to indicate that it’s secured.
      • You can always check the address bar on your browser. Most browsers will indicate if the website is secured or not.

    For more helpful tips, please listen to these podcasts from IT World Canada:

    “Cyber Security Today Week In Review for Nov. 13, 2020” Podcast


    “Cyber Security Today Week In Review for Nov. 20, 2020” Podcast


    (Photo Cred)