Cyber hygiene may sound like the online equivalent to a root canal, but it’s really just a series of ongoing, simple steps, that we should all be taking proactively to protect our devices from cyber threats. Because being vigilant about online security is now a part of our daily lives. Online banking is very popular with Canadians – more than two-thirds (68%) of Canadians now do most of their banking digitally, using online and mobile banking because it’s easy, convenient and secure. Banks in Canada use sophisticated technology and layers of security to help protect customers from fraud when doing their banking online or using a mobile banking app. There are simple steps that customers can take to protect themselves from security threats too. Read on or watch our video to learn how to protect yourself.

4 simple steps you can take to protect your computer and mobile devices

1. Protect your computer, tablet and mobile

Protect your devices against malicious software by installing anti-virus, anti-spyware and Internet firewall tools on all your devices. Make sure that you keep these programs active and updated to keep your information protected.

You can protect against malicious software by being careful about using free public WiFi to conduct financial transactions and by ensuring you only download apps directly from your bank or a reputable app store that your bank directs you to.

2. Choose secure passwords

When choosing your online banking password, make sure that it is difficult for criminals to guess. And don’t reuse passwords on multiple websites. A security breach at one site means your password could be handed to criminals who may try to use it at other sites where you’ve used the same login. It’s tough to think of a unique password, but try these tips.

  • Use a song title for your password – a song that comes to mind when you use that website.
  • Create a personal formula using a combination of letters and numbers, symbols, a word you’ll remember, and a few letters from the website. For example, a combination of your word (eg. sushi) your favourite number (21) and the first three letters of the site you’re accessing (Facebook) would look like this: FACsushi21!

3. Never disclose personal information

Although your bank may contact you by text, email and phone they will never ask you to disclose personal information such as your credit card number, PIN or online banking password as they already have that information. If you are unsure about any communication you receive, contact your bank using a phone number or email address that you know is legitimate.

4. If something’s not right, contact your bank

Check your bank statement regularly or review your transactions online more frequently. If there are any transactions you didn’t make, contact your bank immediately.

The CBA also publishes a Fraud Prevention Tip. Be sure to sign up to receive regular tips and information about how to practice cyber hygiene and keep your money and your personal information safe from thieves.