Are you cyber aware?
All of us are spending more time online, and with this comes an increased risk of cyber-attacks. But there are few things you can do to better protect yourself and your family from cyber threats.
Read on for our four tips on what to do to be more cyber safe!
1. Only share online with friends.
You have likely been told to not use your name, kids name(s) or pets name for your password as it can easily be guessed from looking at your social media profiles, but even stuff like your date of birth and address can quickly be deduced from social channels and used to guess a password.
So keep your personal details, personal by only sharing information online with your friends. Start by checking to ensure your profiles are private and you’ve placed limits on who you are connected with to people you actually know in real life. That way you can keep getting your yearly birthday wishes on Facebook and continue to profile the epic cuteness of your pet dog on Instagram without putting yourself at risk.
And if you’re still wanting to share your inner thoughts on a public account, just remember to keep the personal details separate and only share general content (without personal details) on any public-facing accounts.
2. Think before you click.
Emails and text messages designed to trick you into opening a link, downloading a file or app or otherwise granting access to your devices, also know as “phishing attempts” are more and more prevalent these days.
Phishing enables cyber criminals the ability steal your information and/or install malware on your device to get access to your accounts and they are occurring on a daily basis across devices, platforms and accounts from email to phone calls to texts.
The best defence against phishing is to stop and think before you click on a link, open an attachment or answer a random phone call. Many phishing attempts use a sense of urgency and spoofed logos, websites and emails to make their requests seem legitimate. But if you slow down, think about the message and take a really good look at the content and what is being asked, you’re much more likely to spot that it’s a fake.
3. Stop and read the fine print.
So much of our lives take place online these days – from connecting with friends to working to banking and more. You even have to download an app and sign-up for an account just to order a pizza!
And although it can be easy to just skim the terms and conditions and click on “accept” so you can continue doing what you’re doing, it’s a good idea to stop and read the fine print to make sure you aren’t agreeing to something that can potentially expose you to cyber criminals.
Before accepting, ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the data being collected and how it is being shared. This is especially important when there is a financial transaction involved, so before you buy be sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company and that your transaction is protected and secured or you could end up getting scammed or hacked.
4. Educate yourself about cyber security
Cyber security is a always-changing and evolving topic, so it’s best to stay informed on the risks and how to protect yourself.
There are lots of resources to be found about cyber awareness and cyber security online, with a few linked below. And since October is Cyber Security Awareness Month in Canada, there are extra resources and materials available throughout the month.
- Cyber Security Awareness Month (Government of Canada)
- Get Cyber Safe (Government of Canada)
- Cybersecurity Awareness Month (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency)