The new security tool called "CheckMyLink" aims to protect online shoppers from fraudulent websites.
A new line of defence for online shoppers has been launched ahead of the busy festive shopping season.
The multi-agency initiative called "CheckMyLink" is a tool which will quickly and easily inform consumers of the legitimacy of a website to help them shop in confidence.
It comes at a time of rising online fraud and cyber crime, both in Ireland and around the world, with scams becoming ever more sophisticated including the creation of counterfeit websites designed to steal personal and financial information.
What is "CheckMyLink"?
"CheckMyLink" is a new security tool which has been built by Munster Technological University's Cyber Skills in collaboration with Scam Adviser and An Garda Síochána.
Its main aim is to help shoppers detect if a particular website is safe to visit and free from things like malware, viruses and scams.
Shoppers simply need to visit check.cyberskills.ie and enter the address (URL) of the website they’re looking to buy from and "CheckMyLink" will advise if it is a safe place to shop in the form of a high-level report that’ll be generated in just a few seconds.
If the site comes back as being l'egitimate' you can have confidence that it’s a safe site to transact with.
So while we'e all familiar with the term "click and collect' when shopping online, we should now start getting used to: "check, click and collect".
While Christmas is a season of giving, for cyber criminals it’s the season of stealing. CheckMyLink provides an essential check to ensure that online retailers are legitimate before any money changes hands.
Chair of Cybersecurity at MTU, Donna O’ Shea
Do your own research
No single tool can tell you whether a site is 100% safe to deal with. So it’s important you that you also use your own judgement and carry out your little own checks, especially if buying from a site for the first time.
- Sticking with reputable, well known traders
- Checking out online reviews
- Looking for a secure connection (the 'padlock' symbol) when paying
- Shopping within the EU
- Using a disposable virtual card (if you’re a Revolut customer)
You can read more about these measures if our in-depth guide on how to shop online safely and avoid getting scammed.
Get in touch
Do you shop much online? Are you worried about online safety? What do you think of this new online tool?
We’d love to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments below or get in touch with us on social media.