Nearly all of us live online now. Our digital lifestyle allows us to connect with friends and family all over the world, shop from our sofa, watch TV wherever we are and even work from anywhere! It’s definitely a convenient time to be alive!
However, as we spend more time on the internet, so do criminals and as a result more cyber crimes occur. Their scams include installing malware on your device, tricking you into entering personal passwords on imposter websites or even intercepting your kids soccer fee e-transfer, but the end goal is always the same – to get access to your family’s money.
Keep your family’s money and identity safe with these nine tips:
1. Back it up
No matter how careful you are, you may be hacked by someone trying to steal your identity or money. Schedule automatic backups on your devices to ensure you can recover your personal information.
2. Clear your browser history
Your browser stores a lot of information about you. Clear it regularly to protect your personal information. And while you’re at it, review the permission settings – do all those plugins really need access to your location, passwords or contact lists?
3. Delete unused apps
The fewer apps you have, the more digitally secure you are. Delete the ones you don’t use, and make sure any new apps you add come from a trusted vendor.
4. Review your social media
Scammers can use personal information you share on social media to crack passwords or access your online accounts. Review your privacy settings and delete any photos and videos that are no longer needed.
5. Keep apps up-to-date
Updates are released for a reason – to fix vulnerabilities and improve the app. Make sure you keep yours updated and enable automatic updates when possible.
6. Clean your desk
Wipe the information from old hard drives or USBs you have laying around. Destroy sticky notes with passwords and don’t leave documents with personal information laying around (within eyesight of your Zoom meetings at least). Consider buying a document shredder.
7. Update your passwords
We know, we tell you this all the time. That’s because it’s so important to keep your accounts secure. Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication for online accounts.
8. Your email should also be this tidy
Check your inbox and folders (including spam) for all email accounts. Watch for sensitive documents in particular, like anything with your date of birth or Social Insurance Number. Delete emails you don’t need and organize what you do.
9. Customize your credit union app
Sign up for alerts, especially withdrawals or password changes, so you know what’s happening with your money even when you’re on the go.
If you think you may be a victim of fraud, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.