Cyber Hygiene; You gotta know this!

“Cyber Hygiene”? It sounded like some kind of code word for online hackers to me. I was wrong. In fact it’s exactly the opposite. Cyber Hygiene is an ‘action plan’ we can all utilize to help prevent Internet hackers from accessing our online accounts, especially those related to banking and credit!

Since October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it seemed like a great time to brush up on what’s new for criminals this year; before we get carried away with online holiday gift shopping. Think of Cyber Hygiene as online armour against theft. To educate myself on this latest line of protection, I visited the Canadian Banker’s Association (CBA). I learned that 2 out of every 3 Canadians are now banking online on their digital devices. I stick to my laptop, but many of my friends and family members have mobile banking apps on their cell phones and note books, for easy access to their accounts anytime, anyplace. With that in mind, cybercrime is a game changer, and we need to do all we can to keep ahead of internet criminals, on a daily basis, just like any other daily hygiene activity we engage in.

Good Cyber Hygiene involves an easy four step plan you can implement to ward off predators. Think PROTECT, SECURE, NON-DISCLOSURE & GUT FEELINGS. These four words will help you remember the 4 steps which may keep you from being a financial victim. An excellent but short video walks you through CBA’s recommended steps to protect your devices with up to date security, securing passwords, encourage non-disclosure of personal information and encouraging us to trust our instincts and contact our bank when something doesn’t seem right.  You can view this video HERE.   One tip I loved was using a song title that reminds you of the website to create a unique and easy to remember password. See their password samples for extra protection and easy memory cues.    

Eager for more info? Visit the government of Canada’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security at https://www.cyber.gc.ca/ where the ever-changing threats and steps to protect against them, are continually updated. I learn new things on their website every month! CCRC’s Accredited Credit Counsellors encourage you to brush up on your “Cyber Hygiene”, keeping your bank accounts, investments and credit cards safe. Financial safety is something we just gotta know!