Online Safety - 4 Ways To Prevent Phishing
Phishing isn’t something that happens on a boat or in a river.
It’s when a fraudster sends an email or electronic communication pretending to be a reputable company such as the Canada Revenue Agency or your financial institution. It can also be when a fraudster has hacked your friend's or clients' email account. In these emails, fraudsters induce, pressure and panic individuals into clicking on links or attachments or directly ask you to update personal information such as usernames, passwords or disclose credit card numbers.
This is a shady approach, however by following the SHADY acronym you can repel phishing attacks and send these fraudsters back to the bottom of the ocean. Our latest CyberSafe series covers the SHADY acronym.
1 - Be Safe, Secure and Secret
Always keep personal information secure. First Calgary Financial will never ask you to click a link in an email about your account or ask you to provide personal information directly from an email we send you. If you have doubts about the authenticity of the request, or ever need to exchange such information or communicate about your account, always speak to us verbally either in branch or through our contact centre.
2- Hover Over Links
A quickfire way to prevent your information from being phished is to hover over any link included in an email or document. When you hover over a link in an email, check the link carefully to assess whether it seems legitimate – if you’re unsure, don’t click! The same applies when you hover over any link in an internet browser, except this time the link is previewed in the bottom left of your browser window.
3 - Avoid Odd Attachments
Whether you exchange electronic documents in an office environment or are receiving a link to download your holiday pictures from a friend – never click on an attachment you weren’t expecting. If you were not expecting the attachment or email, chances are it’s a phishing attempt.
Verify that the ask in the email is real by verbally contacting the sender and never ask via email as the senders' account could be compromised. Attachments you were not expecting can be an easy gateway for viruses to enter your system and for fraudsters to access your personal information.
4 - Create Difficult Passwords
Always use a difficult password and never store them publicly or disclose them when asked – remember, at First Calgary Financial we will never ask you to disclose your PAN number and PAC code over email or telephone.
As a rule of thumb, a difficult password is one that is updated every 12 weeks, is not a word and includes a complex mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. A good way to generate memorable difficult passwords is by using acronyms. Take the first letters of the phrase “I can’t go 5 minutes without getting an Email!” and you have yourself a difficult password - Icg5mwgaE!
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