A Cork college has launched a handy scam prevention link checker for Black Friday

But not everyone is confident shopping online and one look at the news will tell you that scammers are out in force on Black Friday.

Now one Cork college has come up with a handy tool to double-check the shops you’re buying from online are legit.

As the countdown to the festive shopping frenzy begins, MTU Cyber Skills has launched a new line of defence for online shoppers: CheckMyLink is a scam prevention tool and a timely response to the expected surge in cybercrime as substantial sums are set to be spent online on Black Friday sales and Christmas presents.

CheckMyLink is a security tool built by MTU Cyber Skills in collaboration with Scam Advisor and An Garda Síochána.

It is designed to boost your confidence when shopping online and checks that the website you’re about to buy from is genuine and free from malware.

All you need to do is enter the website’s address (URL) and CheckMyLink will quickly tell you if it’s a safe place to shop.

‘It’s the season of stealing’

“While Christmas is a season of giving, for cyber criminals it’s the season of stealing,” says Donna O’ Shea, Chair of Cybersecurity, MTU.

“CheckMyLink provides an essential check to ensure that online retailers are legitimate before any money changes hands.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Barry Walsh, Head of Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau, also highlighted: “There is an increased risk to consumers, particularly around this time of year, as hackers are using contaminated links hidden within emails, social media and other mainstream online platforms to gain access to passwords, credit card details or other sensitive information.

“An Garda Síochána are supporting the new initiative to enable users to verify the authenticity of web addresses and click-through domains prior to engaging with sites. It will also allow users to validate that they are legitimate entities.”

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