Over the years our digital lives have changed dramatically. Today, we are always connected by technology in some way, shape, or form.
You can have a video call with your grandchild, buy things from around the world, or play games with your friends no matter where they are. We’ve adapted and so have criminals and scam artists, too.
We are subject to many new cybercrime attempts — they just come in different online ways. They are now in our emails and text messages, trying to infect our devices by pretending to be someone from a trustworthy company. Older Canadians now make up one of the largest demographics in the country, and you must ensure that you are being cyber secure online.
For example, you could receive a phishing email involving a false claim about your grandkids needing money. Or you could receive emails about too-good-to-be-true shopping promises, especially around the holidays, like free gift cards if you just ‘click on this link’. There are also more serious scams about fake government benefits, like your pension or taxes.
Older Canadians now make up one of the largest demographics in the country, and you must ensure that you are being cyber secure online.
Understanding common cyber threats will help keep you safe from potential online scams so you can protect your time, money, and identity. You can also protect yourself from a wide range of cyber threats by taking a few key actions:
- Install anti-virus software
- Patch and accept updates to your software and electronic devices
- Practice good password etiquette. Use strong and unique passphrases or passwords
- Use multi-factor authentication, whenever this option is available
- Be on guard for phishing (and spear-phishing) messages
- Store your data securely and know your back-up procedures
We need to be suspicious of messages that try to rush us into making a decision or seem too good to be true. Pausing and taking a minute to analyze the situation can often save us more time and money than we realize. The extra minutes spent contacting a bank or government department to verify information or calling a trusted friend or family member asking for advice on a cyber security issue, can mean the difference between falling victim to an online scam and being cyber secure.
Cybercrime is the threat most likely to affect Canadians. This doesn’t mean that every time you are online you’re going to be compromised, but you need to protect yourself and stay updated on evolving threats. Sharing your experiences and talking with friends and family can help keep us all safer online.
Knowledge is power and there are plenty of trustworthy resources available.
The Government of Canada’s Get Cyber Safe campaign has easy-to-understand tips, guidance, and important updates to help you and your loved ones stay safe online. Make yourself a harder target and protect yourself from cyber threats by incorporating the cyber security basics. Getting cyber secure will help save you time and can prevent a future cyber attack.