How to stay safe online

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Fraud isn't something you ever think is going to happen to you. Most of us know to ignore email chains or phone calls promising a cruise (if something seems too good to be true, it usually is), but fraud is on the rise in Canada and fraudsters are continuously finding new ways to capture personal and financial information online. So, how do you continue to shop, browse, email, and bank online safely and securely?

Enable Two-Step Verification (2SV)

Two-step verification (2SV) protects your online accounts beyond using a username and password by requiring a verification code with each login that will be sent to your phone or email. Even if a fraudster is able to figure out your password to log in to your account, they will be unable to meet the second authentication requirement (2SV), which ultimately stops them from gaining access to your accounts. As an added layer of protection, enable 2SV whenever possible to keep your information safe.

Watch your Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is convenient when you're on the go, but save your online banking for at home, when possible, or opt for using your cellular data rather than public Wi-Fi networks. Since you're using an open network, it's easier for hackers to intercept your information. If possible, don't input your credit card number or any personal information when you're using an unsecure public network or computer.

Examine the website

Spotting a killer deal for a product you really want makes it easy to open your digital wallet without thinking. But scammers are creating fake sites for high-demand products, jewelry, and clothing that might look legitimate at first glance. Stay safe by being skeptical of heavily discounted items and by taking a close look at the URL. If the web address seems strange, doesn't include the brand or company name, or incorrectly spells the brand name, the site is likely fake.

Shop local

When you're familiar with a business, you're less likely to be duped by a phony website—not to mention there's always the option of picking up the phone and calling that business if something doesn't look right. Most importantly, when you shop local online, you're supporting a small business in your community—and that's always something to feel good about.

Stay vigilant

Fraudsters, scammers, and criminals don't take a day off, so you need to stay alert and keep a protective watch over your personal and financial information at all times. If you need more tips on protecting yourself and loved ones from scammers, read more here.