Dangerous Deals – The Risks of Online Coupons

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What Is Online Coupon Printing?

Online Coupon Printing is used to describe the methods used to receive coupons available from various websites. These coupons are usually downloaded and then printed so they can be used. Typically websites make users register an account and fill out surveys or perform other required tasks to receive the coupons. While there are many sites that offer legitimate coupons and can be trusted, others may have more criminal intentions. Because a lot of the coupon printing websites require special software to be installed onto your computer, these programs can be viewed as a security risk to a user’s privacy. Many of the programs required to print coupons come with files containing malicious software such as malware or adware. Of course this is not true for all online coupon printing websites, but it is becoming more common to find malicious intentions from these sites.

What Are The Risks?

Unfortunately, the risks involved with coupon printing are high. Many of the individuals falling victim to these issues and threats are not properly educated on the risks. For example, malware and adware are a very common issue with people who participate in online coupon printing. Every time you download coupon printing software you run the risk of installing unwanted addons and software. These are typically programs that sneak in and cause issues with web browsing or network activity.

Another example of the dangers of coupon printing is information security. To explain, many coupon printing sites require the user to register an account with them. This means that the user must first provide an email address and password. The problem with this is that many people use their main email account and the same password used in other online accounts. For instance, the user may use the same email and password they use to log into Facebook. Of course the problem here is that if the website offering the coupons is a fraud, then the user just gave them full access to their Facebook account by providing them with their email and password. All it takes is for someone to try that login information and they will gain access.

Are You Already Infected?

How do you know if your computer is already infected with malicious software? There are a few things to look out for when it comes to the computers behavior. First, look for issues in your web browser itself. Things like extra toolbars, automatic homepage switching, pop-ups, and slow loading speeds can all be signs. Also, it is usually easy to spot the software on your computer because of the names used for these programs. Here is a short list of common malicious coupon software and addons:

  • BeeCoupons

  • BetterBuys

  • BiggestDEALS

  • Coupon Alert Toolbar

  • Coupon Genie

  • Coupon Printer

  • Coupon Alerts

  • Deal Vault

  • FindMeSavings

  • Offers4U

  • PriceSlicer

  • SavingsHunter

  • ScorpionSaver

  • Conduit Search

One of the more common programs called Conduit Search is software that causes many different issues on a computer. It has been known to change your homepage to random websites. It sometimes adds unwanted toolbars and browser extensions to your web browser. It also can cause websites to not load and cause your browser to crash unexpectedly.

It is important to scan your computer on a regular basis with an up to date antivirus program. This can help to catch malicious programs before they cause damage to your computer.

How Do You Print Coupons Safely?

Now is the point where your probably asking: How do I know where to get good coupons? The main thing here is to make sure your using legitimate sites to receive your coupons. The best thing you can do to check if a site is legitimate is to read reviews of the site. Do a Google search and see what people are saying about it. Also, good anti-virus software is a must whether your printing hundreds of coupons or just one. Anti-virus programs are a must for anyone browsing the web and should never be left to expire.

To continue, if the website is asking you to install something onto your computer to print a coupon its a red flag. Take your time with this step to make sure the software is safe and doesn’t have any unwanted programs attached to it.

The last step and probably the most important step of all is to not use your main email account when registering on coupon websites. Create a free email account using yahoo, gmail, or one of the many other websites that offer free accounts. Make sure you create a unique password for this account then use this it to register and receive the coupons. This will keep any malicious sites away from your personal information.

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