Simple ways to stay safer online

We’ve all read how cyber crooks are getting more devious and sophisticated in their schemes to rob us of our money, our personal information, and even our identities. Online fraud is a multi-billion dollar business in North America, and each day more people are unknowingly tricked into parting with their cash.

For the past several years, for example, some top scams have included phishing and identity theft, sales and merchandising scams, fraudulent services, prize and lottery scams, emergency or Grandparent scams, and employment and economy-related scams. (For important information on the top scams to watch for, go here.)

In an effort to keep us safer online, the Canadian government has launched a month long security awareness initiative called “Get Cyber Safe”. The message is that while crooks may be increasingly cunning and creative in exploiting technology, there are basic steps we can take that go a long way to minimize our risk.To learn more about the public-service campaign, which includes a radio message about the importance of selecting secure passwords and a video ad about spotting and safely removing malevolent emails, visit

4 simple steps for safer surfing habits

These simple steps can help to stop the scammers and protect our personal and financial privacy:

–Change your passwords frequently.
–Update your anti-virus protection software.
–Use a secure wireless network.
–Learn to recognize and not respond to Internet scams.

(For more details, see 10 ways to stop the scammers)

In addition to raising awareness among Canadians about safer surfing habits, the government is improving its own Internet safety following a massive attack on the Treasury Board and Finance Canada websites in February, according to the CBC.