Since March 2020, many of us have significantly increased our time spent on digital devices. Online shopping, downloading new apps to remain connected to work and school, and completing tasks virtually instead of in-person. We’re that person streaming Netflix on the TV, scrolling on our phone, with a laptop on the coffee table in front of us.
We’re not just connected to the Internet. We are CONNECTED to the Internet.
At the same time, cybercriminals have been busy creating and looking for opportunities to steal from us, scam us, or swipe our personal information to do more bad stuff. And they’re getting smarter and more devious all the time.
And because the criminals are stepping up their game, we need to step up ours.
In recognition of Cyber Security Awareness Month, now in its 17th year, here are some tips to stay safe and secure online:
Take a moment and think about all the online accounts you have. It’s a lot, right? Your passwords are your keys to your castle, so to speak. Lapses in password hygiene – like recycling passwords, not changing passwords regularly, or using that super simple password for that one site – can have serious consequences. One data breach can send your personal info zinging across the dark web and sold within minutes.
Make your passwords do their job to protect you!
Don’t re-use passwords on multiple sites and apps. If you find it difficult to remember multiple passwords, use a password application.
Use passphrases. Password strength is based on length and complexity. While G^H89Nv4!edq$3126 may be a complex password, it’s hard to remember. But I don’t like pineapple on my pizza! is as hard to crack and easier to remember (and type). The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security recommends you use passphrases – learn more.
Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for added security. MFA is an extra layer of security used to make sure people trying to access an online account are who they say they are. This can be done in different ways – like answering a security question after you login (like Enhanced Security on Online Banking, providing a code that is texted to your phone, or using biometric data like a thumbprint or facial recognition. Check out this video about the basics of MFA and make sure you enable the function when it’s available to you.
Here are a few tips on how to make sending and receiving Interac e-Transfers safer:
Use two-factor authentication. Relying on a single password for your e-transfers could put you at risk for cyber threats. Setting up two-factor authentication (MFA) helps prevent fraud and keep your money safe. It ensures it’s really you who wants to send the e-transfer and provides you with a notifcation anytime a new Interac e-Transfer recipient is added to your account.
Set up autodeposit. Did you know that setting up Autodeposit for your e-Transfers reduces the risk of fraud? With Autodeposit, transfers are directly deposited into the bank account of your choosing so there is no chance for fraudsters to intercept the Interac e-Transfer if they gain access to your email account. To set-up Autodeposit go to ‘Transfers & Payments’ and select ‘Interac e-Transfer’. Under this menu, go to ‘Autodeposit Settings’ to turn this feature on.
Be wary of emails. Always be mindful of incoming Interac e-transfers via email and flag anything suspicious. Red flags include websites or email addresses that are misspelled, and emails that have a sense urgency or require you to click a link to solve a problem.