Beware of the Cyber-Grinch – Safe Online Holiday Shopping Tips

Online Security Black FridayDell security experts provide tips and advice for a safe online shopping experience

More than half of Internet users in Canada shop online to purchase goods and services to the tune of $15.3 billion annually, according to a Statistics Canada survey1.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday (November 23/26) leading up to the holiday season will likely be a boon for online shoppers eager to simplify the shopping process while catching some bargains. Unfortunately it is also the time when cyber-criminals lurk to take advantage of online shoppers’ eagerness to strike some deals. To ensure Canadians’ shopping experience is safe and risk-free, Dell IT security experts provide below a few tips:

  • Make sure your computer is up-to-date with anti-virus and malware detection software
  • When buying online, always use a credit card that limits your fraud liability. Avoid using debit cards to prevent fraudulent transactions
  • Always type the URL of your favourite shopping websites. Don’t use links provided in online ads and emails as they may direct you to bogus websites set by cyber criminals to extract personal information
  • Be wary of holiday gift cards and coupon offers sent via email. They are often a trap for information-stealing Trojans or provide a backdoor for hackers to collect your personal information
  • When making online purchases always look for the HTTPS on your browser’s URL window. The S (as opposed to just HTTP) indicates the website has another layer of security
  • Never open unsolicited emails with links to attachments even from people you know. ALWAYS verify with the sender that he or she actually sent you the email with the link
  • Never open or respond to emails from your bank (or any financial institution) that ask you to verify or update your banking certificate, password or token. Banks rarely ask customers to update/disclose sensitive information via email. Always check with your bank before taking action
  • Avoid using weak or default password for any online sites

If you have any questions, please let our team of IT Security Experts know and we can help you.

1 Statistics Canada: Individual Internet use and E-commerce


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