October is Cyber Security Month
With the exploding growth of technology that have been created to make our lives easier, or more convenient – such as mobile banking, access to information, trying to find love, all the way to purchasing your favourite cheese online – cyber criminals have also increased targeting businesses, individuals and even critical infrastructure.
Cyber security is very important, from doing day-to-day tasks, keeping social connections, and especially financial services. So, how do we keep ourselves safe?
The biggest thing is making sure that you’ve secured your accounts, devices and connections. Things like updating passwords, PINs, implementing multi-factor authentication and using password managers are ways to help secure your information. Take a look at the Government of Canada’s www.getcybersafe.ca website for more information on cyber security.
As part of your Encompass Credit Union accounts, your digital banking’s security has been improved during the launch of the modernization of our digital banking in April. Improved complex 10-character passwords and multi-factor authentication helps keep your accounts even more secure. Adding a new bill payee or e-Transfer recipient? You’ll need to use a One-Time Passcode, or OTP.
It is estimated that only 5-10% of all cybercrimes are reported to police. Since June of 2020, the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit within the RCMP have reported over 2,200 requests for assistance for domestic and international law enforcement, of which 30% is related to ransomware. From that, the Cybercrime Unit and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are working together to implement a new national cybercrime and fraud reporting system, which will be fully operational by 2024. Currently, you can report cybercrime at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre here.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, COVID-19 fraud has exploded, with over 21,000 victims of COVID-19 related fraud, costing Canadians $7.6M. Impact of other fraud include over 50,000 reports of fraud in the first eight months of the year, that cost Canadians $144M, whereas a loss of $104M was reported in 2020. Keep in mind, only a fraction of fraud is reported.
Cybercrime is not going away, so make sure you take the extra steps to secure your information and arm yourself with knowledge to help prevent being swindled by a fraudster selling smelly cheese.