Sales and scams: How to stay safe while scouring for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

Nov 24 2022, 9:39 pm

As the season of savings continues with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there will be no shortage of potential online scams either.

According to Shopify’s latest research survey, nearly 70% of shoppers globally will flock to their screens to take advantage of the massive sales.

But what many may not realize is that phishing scams, fake domains, and malware attacks increase during this time of year, according to cybersecurity firm Check Point.

Robert Falzon, head of engineering at Check Point Canada, recommends that Canadian consumers be cautious with their Cyber Monday purchases.

He shared the following online safety tips so that shoppers can take the necessary precautions when scouring for a good deal online.

Before you begin to add items to your Cyber Monday shopping cart, Falzon says you should consider the following:

Always buy from an authentic and reliable source

Make sure to use a direct link to the store you want to purchase the product from.

Falzon recommends not to click on any links sent to you by email. Not knowing its origin could be “potentially dangerous.”

Be alert to similar domains

It’s imperative to pay attention to the links and domains of the web pages you enter.

“Misspellings or misspelled names are a sign of which pages are the originals and which have been created to try to attack users who enter,” says the cyber security expert.

Offers that seem too good to be true will, in fact, be too good to be true

Make sure to fact-check the offer by looking at several sites to see if it’s real or not.

An unusual discount on a highly demanded product could be a clear indicator that it is a scam, according to Falzon.

Always look for the padlock

cyber monday

You’ll know if a site is secure if you see a little padlock symbol next to its URL in your browser.

Another way to know that the site is secure is if the URL starts with HTTPS.

“We should only enter these sites since they are the ones that comply with international security standards,” says Falzon.

If the URL starts with HHTP, it is not a secure site.

Always be on the lookout for password reset emails

This is especially important when the volume of online traffic is at its peak, such as on Cyber Monday.

If you receive an uninvited password reset email, always visit the website directly (do not click on the links) and change your password, advises Falzon.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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