It's not surprising that folks are getting their coupons online these days. After all, we're reading newspapers less and spend more and more time online, so it only makes sense that retailers would move their discounting efforts to the internet.
But as virtual coupon clipping has become more and more the norm, we've noticed a practice that makes us nervous.
The Problem of Coupon Printer Software
A lot of the providers of online coupons make you download a "coupon printer" software program before they let you print that irresistable $1 off Lucky Charms coupon. The purpose of this software is to make sure you only print one of any given coupon. And while you may want to print off coupons to your heart's content, we'll admit that it's a legitimate business concern for the givers of these coupons to place limits on how many coupons we can print. After all, they have to make money.
The problem, though, is that all coupon printers are not created equal. Some are legitimate; they do exactly what they say they do. But others are fronts for spyware and malware or could make your computer more vulnerable to attacks. We've seen it happen before--a computer infected from a seemingly legitimate coupon printer application--and it's not pretty.
Your Best Bet: Don't Download Coupon Printers
That's why we recommend that you never allow websites to install coupon printers on your computer. That may seem extreme, but in our experience, you'll save a lot more headache and money by protecting yourself from malicious software than by saving a dollar on that box of Lucky Charms. So it's not time to throw those scissors away yet.
As always, shout out if you have questions, concerns, or comments.