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

The Nanaimo Clippers’ game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs slated for Thursday, April 15, has been postponed due to a “potential positive COVID-19 test result,” says the BCHL. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo Clippers COVID-19 test comes back negative, team can practise and play

Junior A hockey team had suspended activities the day before out of ‘abundance of caution’

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo/submitted)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Government’s inaction has led to old-fashioned ‘war in the woods’

How can we still be debating the value of old-growth forests in 2021, asks letter writer

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools. (News Bulletin file)
Pleasant Valley school in Nanaimo sees case of COVID-19

Potential exposure date April 13, says Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools

The City of Nanaimo’s finance and audit committee has recommended spending $200,000 from reserves on a feasibility study and conceptual designs for a community centre in the south end. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will study options for south-end community centre

Finance committee recommends spending $200,000 from reserves for feasibility study and concept plans

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Vancouver Island prison

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Nanaimo city councillors, at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, April 14, recommended spending $400,000 on nighttime security throughout downtown and the Old City Quarter. (Stock photo)
Nanaimo city councillors recommend $400,000 spending on downtown security

City will also spend $50,000 to hire consultant to prepare a public safety action plan

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Beef to the beefers. Please season your beefs. We require a little more spice in our Wednesday-morning work beef huddle.
Beefs & Bouquets, April 14

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read