Canadians are targets of cybercrime in many different forms. Here are five practical measures you can take right now on any device to protect yourself against cyber-security breaches. Visit www.cyber.gc.ca for more on any of these steps.
PRACTICE GOOD PASSWORD ETIQUETTE
Use unique passphrases and complex passwords.
Don’t share passwords. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, websites or devices.
Use two-factor authentication (2FA) when available.
SECURE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL ACCOUNTS
Use as many security options (settings) as you can for each social media and email platform.
Do not use your social media to log into other web accounts (e.g. shopping, banking, social media or other personal accounts).
STORE YOUR DATA SECURELY AND KNOW YOUR BACK-UP PROCEDURES
Use only new USB memory sticks purchased by you or someone you know. Do not use USB sticks on untrusted computers.
Secure data stored in the cloud or online by turning on the available security features.
Back up your vital personal information and know where you have it backed up.
Practice recovering your data at least once. This way you’ll know what to do if you become a ransomware victim.
APPLY UPDATES TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICES, COMPUTERS, AND APPLICATIONS
Those updates are crucial to your security: they contain what we call security “patches.” Don’t ignore them.
Be sure to apply updates to your mobile applications in addition to your device operating systems and get them to automatically update.
BE ON GUARD FOR PHISHING AND SPEAR-PHISHING MESSAGES
Know how to spot phishing and spear-phishing messages.
Be wary of suspicious links – don’t click on them.
Use anti-virus or anti-malware software on computers.