We have made an easy target for cyber criminals. We are online now more than ever – cyber criminals take advantage of high-profile events, like COVID-19, and prey on our emotions and our devices.
Whether you are working from home, shopping online or spending more time on social media, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your data while online.
Throughout the pandemic, there have been email and text scams going around, where cyber criminals are posing as organizations like Canada Revenue Agency and World Heath Organization, for example. These scams are known as phishing scams.
To protect yourself against phishing scams you should:
- Ensure the email or text message is from a valid source before you open it or click any links.
- Look for spelling and grammar mistakes in the URL, body of the message or subject line.
- It is best practice to make sure you know the sender before you open any links.
- Be cautious if the tone of the email sounds urgent or threatening.
Besides phishing scams, there are several other ways cyber-attackers can target you. Staying safe online means securing your accounts, securing your devices, and securing your connections.
- Whenever possible, use a two-factor authentication system for online accounts and devices for an added layer of protection.
Securing your devices
- Install anti-virus and anti-spyware technology.
- Never skip an update on your operating system.
- Clear your browser history and cache after every use. Do not leave a record on your computer of any login IDs, passwords, banking information or other sensitive data.
- Log out of your accounts when you are done.
- When you download files, ensure they are from a trusted source.
- Delete any apps that you are not using – these can be used to gather your personal information.
Secure your connections
- Be careful when using public WiFi. Unsecured, public networks are a perfect opportunity for cyber criminals.
- Bluetooth technology links nearby devices, like wireless headphones, printers, and keyboards, to your mobile device or computer. Turn off Bluetooth on your devices when it is not in use.
For more information on how you can protect your cyber security, you can visit www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/.
Despite your very best efforts, cyber attacks can still happen – and that’s why many home, condo, and tenant insurance policies include coverage for some of the expenses that come with personal identity theft. Specific coverage varies so it is best to speak with your Insurance Broker to review your policy.
Roughley’s team of insurance professionals is standing by to answer your call. If you have questions about your insurance, we invite you to call us and speak to one of our team members.
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