A woman uses her computer keyboard to type while surfing the internet in North Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A woman uses her computer keyboard to type while surfing the internet in North Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

‘Tis the season to be cyber aware: 9 tips from BCIT computer crime experts

Don’t fall for holiday cyber scams

This holiday season, COVID-19 has ensured that consumer shopping is mostly done online and a cybersecurity expert is offering tips and calling on British Columbians “think before you click” and avoid falling victim to a scam.

In a news release Monday (Dec. 7), BCIT cybersecurity expert Ilia Lvovski said the first of nine tips and tricks is to always double-check the URL of a website, even before clicking a link.

When hovering your mouse above a link before clicking on it, you will be able to see on the bottom left corner of your internet browser where the actual address will take you. If that address looks different from what you would expect – don’t click on it, Lvovski said.

Secure sites will include HTTPS at the front of the web address.

To further validate a secure website, look for the small padlock that appears to the left of the web address. A padlock doesn’t guarantee security but is a good first step when searching for a secure site, Lvovski said.

When browsing for products, pop-up ads aren’t uncommon – but can lead to scams. If the pop-up is from a company that you are familiar with, this is a better indication of security. However, if you aren’t familiar with it, don’t click on it.

Computer crime experts are also urging online shoppers to consistently ensure their operating system, software and anti-virus programs are up to date.

With an increase in e-commerce this holiday season, Lvovski said British Columbians should be on the lookout for spoofed websites – a term for fake shopping sites designed to appear legitimate – as well as phishing emails. Deals that seem too good to be true likely are.

When using a credit card for online payments, avoid storing your credit card information. Alternatively, services like Paypal can also offer a second layer of protection as those programs hide credit card numbers.

One of the easiest ways to steal your personal information is through a hacked public WiFi network, Lvovski said. Use a strong, unique password for each online account. Do not store them in your browser; instead, store them in a password manager. This way, if one account is compromised, the others will be safe.


@janelle_swift
janelle.swift@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The COVID-19 cases reported over the week of May 30 to June 5. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees second straight week of 17 new COVID-19 cases

Summerland, Keremeos and Princeton all recorded no new cases

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read