Marie-Christine Daignault | Desjardins Group
Oh, look at that contest! Quick--enter your email, phone number, birthday, bank account number ... Hold on! Statistically, 2 in 5 people get taken in by this kind of phishing attempt. Would you?
In 2015, Canadians lost over $10 million related to identity fraud. And that's only the people who reported it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre--less than 5% of the number of actual victims!
That's why, during Fraud Prevention Month, it's a good time to ask ourselves a few questions to assess how good we are at protecting our identity online.
1. Are you careful enough?
Contrary to popular belief, you can also find phishing scams on social media. Fraudsters are betting on the fact that people easily share pages requesting your information (to enter certain contests or to watch videos, for example). Basically, scam artists take advantage of the very nature of social media--watching and sharing--to get your personal information.
2. Do you share your information too freely?
Even without contests, most of us easily share bits and pieces of our lives on social media. But it's not just our friends looking at photos of our new home! Fraud artists can also easily see and collect information posted voluntarily on social media.
Although most of us are careful not to post our birthday, there's lots of other information that says a lot about you, including your relationships to family members, your cellphone number and so on.
3. Do you have good habits?
- Do you limit access to social media to your friends and family members?
- Do you make sure your status updates are appropriate?
- Are you wary of messages asking you for personal information?
- Do you hesitate when you see sites asking you for access to your personal information?
Help for all Desjardins individual members, at no extra cost
Identity Theft Assistance is available at no extra cost to Desjardins individual members. It gives access to identity theft lawyers, reliable information on identity theft and ways to prevent it, and personalized, step-by-step assistance from our lawyers to recover identity in the event member's personal information is used fraudulently or stolen.