It comes as no surprise that we’re living in a digital age now. As often as we’re using our phones and computers to connect with loved ones near and far, fraudsters have been taking note. Whether you are online banking, ordering SkipTheDishes, or adding to your cart on Amazon—all of these tasks could be targets for potential scammers. It’s time to raise awareness on the importance of protecting your personal information in order to spot (and stop) the scammers in their tracks.
5 Protection Tips:
1. Use a strong and unique password or passphrase for each online account.
Hackers may be getting smarter… but so are we! Password protection is a BIG factor in fraudulent activity. We know how hard it can be creating new passwords, but we recommend updating your passwords frequently. Use different passwords for each account and don’t share them with anyone. Although a lot of us were originally taught to never write our passwords down, we suggest recording them in a safe place on paper so that you’re able to access them and keep track. For more tips on creating a strong password or passphrase, click here.
2. Don’t share personal or other sensitive information on social media or online.
Sharing personal information on social media may seem innocent, but hackers and criminals are continuously on the lookout for potential loopholes. Protect yourself by keeping your sensitive information private and secure.
3. Use strong antivirus and anti-malware/spyware software programs on your devices.
Steer clear of pesky viruses by making sure you have trustworthy antivirus software downloaded and kept up to date. This will ensure further protection on your most frequently used device. Take a look at the Best Antivirus Protection Software.
4. Keep your device software up to date and install critical security patches as soon as they are available.
Software updates are often used to keep your devices protected and secure with the latest safety features. Apple now offers a new feature that silences those bothersome unknown callers. Most Androids also have a similar spam call blocker feature that you can enable.
5. Know that a legitimate business will never ask you to confirm personal or account information in an unsolicited email, phone call, or message.
Remember that legitimate businesses will not be reaching out for personal information unless a transaction has taken place. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Read more about smishing and how to spot the warning signs here.
Now that we’ve shared some handy tips and tricks, what do you do if you receive a suspicious message?
1. Do not open the message, report it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it. In some cases, simply opening the message may compromise the security of your device.
2. If you opened the message, do not reply to it or click on any links or attachments. Instead, follow up with the person or business who supposedly sent it by navigating to their website through a legitimate search engine or by contacting the person directly.
If you think you have fallen victim to a cyber scam, immediately report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501. Furthermore, all types of fraud can be reported to the Saskatchewan RCMP by calling 310-RCMP or contacting your local police service. For more information about how to protect yourself online, please visit www.sasktel.com/support.
Join the fight against fraud by doing your part and spreading the word. Stay tuned to our social channels all month long for more information and resources on how to prevent cyber fraud and stay safe online.
Revised Blog with updates from March 2021.
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