The last few years have been challenging for most of us, and the internet played an important role in helping us find our way through it. But while we were busy discovering this “new normal” with friends, family members, and favourite businesses, fraudsters found themselves exploiting opportunities to steal personal information from you!
There are a number of ways you can keep yourself protected while staying connected. Here’s how:
- Create complex passphrases
Complex passwords – using combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols that aren’t easy to guess – are recommended because they’re hard for criminals to crack. But they’re also hard to remember. So consider using a passphrase instead. A passphrase is comprised of four random words that make sense to you but will be hard for criminals to guess. Add numbers and symbols to the passphrase and you’ll be even more secure! Whatever you choose, just remember to keep it secure and use a different password for every site.
- Avoid phishing scams
Phishing emails are messages designed to look like legitimate communications from authentic senders like your bank or the government. Others can be completely random and are often poorly designed and use bad spelling and grammar. Whoever the sender might be, if they use urgent or threatening language, request sensitive information, or have suspicious attachments, don’t click on any links, reply, forward the email, or open those attachments! If the email looks like it’s coming from a legitimate sender, like your bank or government, try to contact them using the information on their official website and ask them to confirm whether the message is legitimate.
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) where you can
Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your important accounts to keep your information cyber-secure! It might sound complicated, but it’s not – it’s just a second layer of protection to make sure it’s really you trying to access your account. When you use MFA a unique code will be sent to you, usually by text message, to verify that it’s you trying to access your account. It’s just one more way to help keep your personal information from prying eyes.
Identity theft is a serious crime, and it can take months or even years to clear your name. Follow the simple steps we’ve outlined above to help keep yourself safe online and be vigilant about the information you share with others. Remember, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is – so don’t let yourself get scammed by criminals looking to steal your identity.