As these challenging times force our world to operate more digitally, you may find yourself wondering about cyber security. In effort to help our members stay safe online, we reached out to our VP of IT Information Security Officer, Garth, to answer a few questions.
Keep reading to learn Garth's tips to stay safe and secure.
What are the different types of fraud?
While fraudsters are constantly applying slight new coats of paint, the goals for their scams remain relatively the same. They ultimately boil down to either obtaining your credentials, coaxing you into installing something harmful, paying them for something you would not normally buy, or outright sending them money.
Although some of these objectives are obtained in fairly straightforward ways, like calling you and asking you for your online banking password to "confirm your identity" before telling you about the alleged fraud on your account, others can be very intricate. They are also savvy enough to take advantage of current events, so things like fake COVID-19 charities, hacked COVID-19 mapping sites, and other sorts of pandemic-themed frauds are common right now.
Attackers are trying to take advantage of consumers during these difficult times. What advice do you have for them?
We all know to be skeptical of junk mail and can recognize it when we see it. Applying that same scrutiny to unsolicited emails, calls, and pop-up ads can save us all a great deal of heartache. Question authenticity. Practice pausing before acting rashly on unsolicited information. Take advantage of fraud protection features where available. If two-factor authentication is offered for online services, make use of it. Be sure to leverage card alerts and locking features. Finally, never, under any circumstances, provide your password to anyone. Only you should ever know your password.
What suggestions do you have for people who are working from home?
Hackers discover new vulnerabilities constantly, and while some exploit those discoveries for personal gain, others notify publishers and manufacturers of these defects so they can be addressed with patches. Make sure that your operating system and antivirus software are up-to-date and working properly. Keeping up with these updates is critically important. Adding password protection to your Wi-Fi network and monitoring devices on your network are easy and simple precautions. Doing these things will keep you safe.
Do you have any additional advice?
It can be challenging to juggle all of the complex and unique passwords experts tell you to use for each different website. You may want to consider investing in a password management solution. Even when two-factor authentication is not available on a particular website, a good password management tool can be protected with two-factor authentication and help you easily keep track of your passwords.
Do not be afraid to slow things down. Fraudsters generally want to rush you as much as possible in order to increase the likelihood you’ll be rattled and make a mistake. Take your time to work through any uncertainty you may feel. Consult with friends. It is much easier to stop fraud before the money has left your account than it is to try and get it back afterwards.
Still have questions? Contact our Fraud and Security team.