Here are some tips from ESET to Canadians shopping online during the biggest shopping weekends.

As Canadians from coast to coast continue to battle the ongoing pandemic, many are choosing to snag all the best deals from the comfort of their living rooms by shopping online.

But while staying home and shopping online will help limit the spread of COVID-19, it may make shoppers vulnerable to more risks if they don’t know the ins and outs of cybersecurity and how to protect themselves from online holiday scams.

That’s why cybersecurity firm ESET has put together the following tips to keep in mind when shopping online.

Keep it Familiar — There‘s an endless number of websites and ads out there in cyberspace wanting to sell you things. Never click on a pop-up ad or email, instead go directly to the weblink to see if the deals are real.

Read Reviews – It might sound strange, but if an item or site only has good reviews be wary. A legit retailer always has one or two bad reviews (which may or may not be justified). When only glowing reviews are available, they are likely fake.

Use third party payment options – Never pay for an online purchase with your debit card. Your debit card is directly linked to your bank account and often has no credit limit. If possible, try to use PayPal, Google Pay or Apple Pay when making those holiday purchases since they are not linked to any of your personal information.

Check out as Guest – Whenever possible, do not create an account with an online retailer. Instead check out as a guest. This saves you from sharing your data footprint with them. If they end up having a data breach, your data will not be available to be stolen.

Don’t store payment details – Don’t prioritize convenience over safety. If you use a retailer often, you may be tempted to save your credit card number for ease. But remember many major retailers have suffered data breaches in the past and there is no way to ensure that you will not become a victim. Another useful tip is to use a virtual credit card instead of your real one. The virtual credit card gives you a number that is tied to your credit card for short-term use and provides another layer of security.

If you have previously allowed a retailer to store your credit card number and you no longer want them to do so, you should contact them and ask for your card details to be deleted.

To add an extra layer of security, make sure to invest in antivirus software like ESET’s Internet Security which is ideal for modern users concerned about their privacy, who actively use internet for shopping, banking, work and communication.

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