The Murky World of Online Reviews: Who Can You Trust?

December 10, 2015

Booking a vacation? Buying a birthday gift? Searching the web is a quick, convenient, and cost effective way to shop for the things you need. However, because online shopping doesn’t allow us to see or prove the quality of an item, we often rely on product and company reviews to help make decisions about our online purchases. But how reliable and truthful are they?

Fish hook, padlock and credit cards

The sad truth is that some companies offer discounts or monetary incentives to customers in exchange for positive reviews, and that there is no consistent way of certifying the legitimacy of reviews. That being said, there are ways to make smarter decisions as an online shopper:    

We encourage you to check out the Canadian Consumer Handbook for more information on safe and fraud-free online shopping!

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This is off-topic, but I wasn't sure where else to send this. I was wondering if you could do a blog post on browser extensions, the permissions they request and whether they are safe and recommended. For example, Adblock Plus wants to read and change data on all the sites I visit, is that safe? And the EFF just came out with Privacy Badger which asks for the same thing. Do these extensions actually protect your privacy or are you just giving your information to yet another company? Thanks for taking the time to read this :)

GetCyberSafe   2016-01-06

Hi Jean,

You can submit your concerns and questions to the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) at They will be able to give you more information about browser extensions.

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