August 06, 2021Social media Lifestyle Good reads
Over the years, we’ve seen nearly every family we work with incorporate some level of online exposure into their lives. Virtually every household in the world is thinking about this as more and more of our personal details (and payment options) hit the internet.
Cyber Crime can show its ugly head in many forms. From the electronically generated “Robodialer” threatening you with imminent arrest by the RCMP, to the unwelcome mass email notes distributed to your entire contact list, the chance that you’ve been exposed to this new form of cyber attack is becoming more likely.
So, what can you do? The best defense you have against this group of cyber thugs is common sense. Listening to your gut is going to be your best friend while ensuring you don’t fall for these schemes. Is it really possible that your SIN number has been compromised or Revenue Canada is threatening you with legal ramification and jail time? We all know what the pastime of fishing entails; hours spent casting a bait with the hope of catching a trophy fish or maybe even dinner. Well Phishing is virtually the same principle. The criminal’s computers automatically dial thousands of numbers in hopes of catching an unsuspecting victim who will believe the scam and hand over hard-earned money.
The CRA will never call you, they do everything by mail. If the RCMP was looking to arrest you, then they would be at your door already. If it sounds too preposterous to be true, it likely isn’t. Who would imagine that we would long for the days when the annoying calls were only trying to sell you new windows, clean your airducts or gutters? The best rule of thumb is to pause and hang up, close the internet window or email message and find out more details before proceeding. If it’s legitimate, you always have the time.
That said, there are actual hackers out there that will infiltrate your system and can do serious damage, steal your passwords or even hold your information hostage. Breaking into private computer systems to encrypt and often steal files to hold for ransom has become a major security issue around the world. In recent months, ransomware gangs have launched several high-profile attacks, including on a major pipeline and a meat supplier, schools and hospitals. In the US ransomware cost American victims an estimated $1.4 billion over the past last year. The truth of the matter is that this is a real threat and you really need to take some steps to protect your electronic presence and footprint in today’s world.
Apart from common sense, a smart first step of equipping a reputable Antivirus and Antimalware software program. Finding a good one is simple via any search engine. Here is a go to source we’ve used for many years https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-antivirus-protection with a list of 13 of their top picks in 2021.
If you travel a lot or do work on Wi-Fi in public spaces, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create another layer of protection via an encrypted tunnel for transferring data to and from your device and any host site. This removes all chances of people around you spying and snooping on your data (and yes they can do this in any public WIFI source). Even your own internet service provider () can’t access your data or track your activities. The same source as mentioned above publishes this list https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-vpn-services for some top choices for VPN’s.
Many of these VPN applications have secondary programs designed to help you manage your passwords so that you aren’t continuously having to come up with and remember unique passwords for every application you use in your life. Using this service will allow you to have a single Master Password in the program and then the program will auto generate a random password for each application.
While we aren’t experts in this field, we are all in this together and are happy to pass along our learnings. And as always, any of our communication will be sent to you securely, so if you receive anything that appears to be from us with an attachment that isn’t secure, please call us and question it. It’s just another way we’re better together.