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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

The intersection of Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street, where a child was struck and injured in November 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
High-traffic Parksville intersection to get temporary 4-way stop

City staff to monitor effectiveness of traffic-calming measure at Despard and Moilliet

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Most Read