By Sheryl Smolkin
Read this article and comments at Moneyville.ca
I’m as worried about cyber fraud as the next person but that doesn’t mean I’m doing everything I should to protect myself. I’m in and out of dozens of websites every day and frequently register online to purchase items or get the information I need.
I am reluctant to use overly complex passwords and change them as frequently as recommended because there is no way I can keep all the changes in my head and for sure I’ll end up locked out of my computer, my online banking and my voice mail just when I need them most.
Last week I thought I was posting information to a closed freelance writers’ group on LinkedIn and within seconds discovered it automatically posted to my Twitter feed which also appears on Moneyville. I had a frantic few minutes until I figured out how to edit my remarks.
Has social media and email resulted in over-sharing of your personal information? Take this True/False fraud prevention quiz from TD Canada Trust:
1.If your bank needs to contact you, they may email you and ask you for your account information.
False: Your bank will never contact you by email asking for account information. If you have been emailed for this information then you have likely been “phished.” Phishing refers to an online scam that seeks out personal financial information from people who believe they are sharing their information with a legitimate website or organization.
2. The anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer is sufficient to protect your personal information.
False: Anti-virus and internet security software only helps protect your personal information if the software is up-to-date, and if it has the latest firewall installed. Fraudsters are always developing new ways to obtain your personal information online. For example, if malicious software gets uploaded onto your device it can track what you do online, tap into your personal information and even create spam that comes under the identity of a friend. Always be cautious when downloading apps.
3. There are simple clues to figure out whether or not a website is safe.
True: To see if a site is secure, in Internet Explorer check the lower corner of your browser window or to the right of the address bar, for a padlock. Any time you’re on a screen to send personal information, make sure the padlock is closed or the key is intact. This indicates that security technology will scramble your personal information as it is being transmitted. As well, the secure website address will begin with “https://”, regardless of which browser you are using.
4. Sending an e-mail money transfer gives you the same security as online banking.
True: One of the biggest misconceptions about e-transfers is that they are not secure. In reality, e-transfers offer the same level of security and confidentiality as any online banking transaction. The e-mail notification of the transfer doesn’t include the money or any banking information, only a notification of the pending transfer. In order for the recipient to collect the money, they must log into their own online banking service and correctly answer a security question.
5. It’s not as important to be vigilant about transactions in stores because most fraudsters have moved online.
False: It’s always important to protect your personal information, on or offline. Financial institutions continually upgrade the sophisticated security measures they have in place to protect customers from fraud (e.g. CHIP technology on cards), but you should also do what you can to protect yourself by knowing where your cards are at all times and shielding the keypad when you enter your PIN.
I got four out of five questions correct, but the simple clues to figure out whether or not a website is safe were news to me, and I have made a note of them for future use.
How did you score? Do you have any other hints for avoiding cyber fraud?