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Safe Banking

6 tips on how to stay safe online

November 3, 2022
min read

Personal information safety is a hot topic in our digital era. We gathered 6 top tips to help keep your information safe and reduce the possibility of identity theft.

You’ve probably heard of ransomware attacks on universities, hospitals and other organizations, but ransomware doesn’t just hit large companies: it can also target individual users. Ransomware typically involves the locking all of the files on your computer until you pay a ransom. Account hacking, phishing scams, and malware are other risks you can face when using a computer or digital device.

This is why we are sharing tips on how to safeguard your financial information, computer, and digital devices.

Run the latest anti-virus software available on your computer

It is essential to run anti-virus software on your computer and to keep it updated at all times. You should also ensure that you run the most recent operating system version. It is also important to have a firewall running to protect your computer from malware and viruses.

Change your Passwords Regularly

Change your passwords regularly, and avoid using the same password on different websites. If one website is compromised, this places your accounts on any other websites at risk. When choosing a password, ensure that it uses a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

Sometimes, it may be difficult to keep track of all your passwords; we recommend that you install and use a password manager. Strong and secure passwords reduce the risk of your personal information being compromised.

Be Careful when Using Public Internet Connections  

Use caution when you are connected to a public Internet connection, such as Wi-Fi at a café. Never use a public network for banking, online shopping, or private work activities. If you are out and must do any of these activities, use your phone’s data connection instead.

For added protection, it is best to disable your Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth capabilities when you’re not using them. This is because other devices in the area can easily access your devices when these network sharing options are in use.

Check Website Security

Before buying something online or performing any online banking, check to make sure that the website begins with https:// or contains a padlock icon beside the address bar. This means the website is secure, and the information you provide to the website is encrypted. For additional security, avoid saving any card information in your online accounts.

Take Caution when Clicking Links in Emails

If you do not know or trust the email sender, be very cautious when clicking any links in their email. It could be a fraudulent email with links directing you to a phishing website or installing malware on your device.

Check your credit card and bank accounts weekly to ensure there are no unauthorized charges. You can do this conveniently through online banking. If you see a suspicious charge, immediately get in touch with your financial institution, change your account password, and arrange for any other necessary security measures, such as a new credit card or debit card.  

Be Safe on Social Media

It may seem safe to share personal details of your life on social media, but you should be careful. Personal information like your address or birthdate can be dangerous when in the wrong hands.

A smart way to protect your personal information on social media is to not fill in the “about me” section in your profile. If obtained by cyber criminals, personal information like your birthdate and address can increase the chance of identity theft, among other online scams.

Another way to stay safe is to limit the number of people who can view your social media posts if they contain personal information. You can always personalize your security settings to accommodate this on your social media accounts.

Additionally, be cautious of giving your personal information to anyone you don’t know in real life.

A Cambrian Recommendation: CIRA Canadian Shield

At Cambrian Credit Union we recommend that our members register for CIRA Canadian Shield. This is an online security service developed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, a member-based non-profit known for developing and implementing policies that support Canada’s internet community as well as managing Canada’s .CA domain.

How Canadian Shield can Protect You
Canadian Shield can help protect you while you’re surfing the web by blocking malware and phishing attacks at the DNS (domain name system) level. When you set up Canadian Shield using your router, every device in your household is protected when connected to your home internet. You can also set up the service directly on your computer, phone, or tablet.

In addition to malware and phishing, Canadian Shield also blocks sites with a high likelihood of being fraudulent or online scams.

Benefits of Canadian Shield

  • Canadian Shield has the ability to quickly block more than 100,000 new threats a day using its integration with a global threat feed.
  • CIRA Canadian Shield is a Canadian product with Canadian data centres, meaning faster response times.
  • Your DNS traffic remains private and inside Canada.
  • Canadian Shield offers multi-device protection that works in conjunction to other security on your devices, giving you access to device and network-level protection.

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*All rates and yields subject to change without notice.
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