It’s hard to imagine that just a generation ago, the modern conveniences brought to us by the world wide web were a thing of science fiction! Today, you can do everything from getting an education to having your weekly grocery shopping delivered with just a few keystrokes. But as easy as the internet makes our daily life, it’s made life just as easy for thieves and scammers. With one wrong click, you could accidentally grant access to your private information, your finances, and even your identity.
There is only one you, and Dundee Bank wants to help you keep it that way! We’ve put together a few easy steps you can take to improve your family’s online security. From photos to finances, we want everything that matters to you to be safe and sound!
Don’t Delay Updates
Those update reminders always seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times, don’t they? You’re in the middle of a presentation, writing an email, or editing your photos and, Pop! You click “remind me later” once. Then twice. Then you stop even noticing it’s sitting there in the corner. That’s a habit hole we all need to climb out of! Every day, new advancements are being made to keep you and your information safe online. Those updates include all of the latest protection tech, so stop snoozing on improving!
Chain Surveys and Your Identity
Your friend only shared that viral survey asking about your favorite ice cream because they truly want to get to know you better! But the person who created it, had something a lot sneakier in mind. Those little nuggets of information offer scammers and hackers clues about every password and security question you’ve ever answered. Most security questions ask where you and your significant other met, how many siblings you have, your favorite color, and the name of your first pet. Pretty similar to the innocent survey you answered last week on Facebook, right?
The first step is to be sure you’re only sharing with those you intend to share with. Check your security settings and change your posts to share with friends only. Be sure to take a tour of your friends list from time to time, ensuring that you’re only connected with active accounts of people you truly know.
The second step is to skip surveys asking intrusive questions that can be used against you. If someone really cares about your first pet, it would have come up over coffee by now!
This one gets incredibly tricky. An email address that looks almost like your cousin’s sends you a link. Your child’s school secretary sends you a new login without prompting. You may have already won money from sweepstakes you don’t remember entering. It is incredibly frustrating just how close we can come to unlocking our personal information to Phishing scams.
There isn’t a link in the world worth clicking if the email address is even slightly suspicious. It’s worth a phone call to be sure the link is coming from a reputable source. Your bank will never ask you for your login information anywhere but on the official website’s login screen, which will always come with a padlock in the URL.
The Federal Trade Commission encourages you to report spam to www.ftc.gov/complaint.
Secure Your Connection
Sitting in the drive through of your favorite coffee shop for ten minutes in the morning may seem like a fine time to check your bank statement. Unfortunately, if your phone is connecting to an unsecured network, you’re opening yourself to unnecessary risks. Avoid shopping, banking, or accessing personal data until you’ve gotten home and to a secure connection.
And while you feel like you’re just being a good neighbor by sharing your wifi password, you are much safer keeping that information locked down. The fewer people have access to your secure connection, the more secure it will be!
The Real Deal
Shopping online is not only easy and convenient; The minute you look for an item online, your social media starts advertising off-brand retailers of similar products. It seems like a smart move to buy the more affordable version that just popped up on your timeline, but before you buy, check for secure shopping options!
If the payment page doesn’t have a secure padlock in the URL, your information is at risk. Off-brand sites are often hotspots for scams, and third-party shippers aren’t always able to be held accountable. Whenever possible, shop local, even when shopping online. Your neighbors are easier to access for disputes, quality assurance, and more secure transactions. Not to mention the benefits of supporting local!
Additionally, check for “almost the right URL” for sites you know and trust. Mirror sites with extra characters (think: Your_Bank_For_Real instead of: YourBankForReal) are a sneaky way scammers get you to give them your login information.