Cybersecurity Tip of the Week

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Internet Cookies
by FCNB on 


Internet Cookies

 

Internet cookies are not delicious baked goods like the name may suggest. They are in fact small pieces of information stored on your computer’s hard drive that store certain user attributes and in some cases helps your internet browser load websites faster.

 

As some browsers offer the option to not save internet cookies, some people may have questions regarding their use. Cookies are saved on your computer and removed periodically after a certain period of time. It is however, better to manually erase them from time-to-time to keep your browser running smoothly and efficiently.

 

Cookies are exclusive to the user, as well as the website. So your cookies will not match up with someone else’s cookies. The scariest question of all is if they can give your computer viruses, as cookies are so common. The answer is no. Cookies are simply text files to help your browser remember some information about certain websites, whilst viruses are only present in executable files such as installers, documents, music, photos and programs. However, cookies can sometimes store your personal settings for a website or even the location you have entered.

 

The best thing to do is turn off the use of cookies in your browser’s settings.

 

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Media Literacy Week
by FCNB on 

Media Literacy Week

 

Not only is November Financial Literacy Month, but from November 5-9 it is Media Literacy week.

 

Media Literacy week is an annual event that takes place every November. Co-led by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), the week puts a spotlight on the importance of digital and media literacy as key components in the education of youth.

 

They work with Canadian schools, libraries, and educational associations and organizations that are looking to inspire a leap in Canadians’ thinking towards media education as an important – and innovative – approach for creating thoughtful, engaged and informed young people.

 

They have tons of resources for teachers and for families looking to teach youth about how to be media literate.

 

For more information and great resources, visit their website: www.medialiteracyweek.ca

 

For more information on how Financial Literacy click here

 

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Halloween cyber security nightmares
by FCNB on 

Halloween cyber security nightmares

 

Halloween is usually associated with pumpkin carving, scary movies, creepy ghost stories, dreadful costumes and, of course, endless amounts of overpriced candies.

 

In the spirit of Halloween, we hope that the tips below will make the Internet space a little bit less scary.

 

Haunted TV specials


Halloween always features an abundance of horror movies on television that will give you nightmares for weeks to come. What if it your TV itself turned against you and held you for ransom? Smart TVs now have tons of different apps you can download. Make sure to always download apps from a trusted source, as these could provide an easy way in for the bad guys.

 

If possible, enable app verification in your settings. An extra barrier of protection would be to ensure your wireless router is encrypted. Learn how to do that here.

 

I know what you did last night


Someone could be watching you through your webcam, without you realizing it. To learn more on how to protect yourself, read our cyber-tip Yes, webcams can spy on you. 

 

The hacker lock-picking nightmare


While we all love new technology, be wary of technologies that can make you vulnerable. Researchers have found that Bluetooth devices, including keyless entry systems, could be leaving your front door open to hackers – literally.

 

If a smart lock is a must have for your home, make sure to enable the two factor authentication and choose a strong password.

 

When a Stranger Calls


Technology can truly be terrifying. We now have smart phones that can track every move we make. With access to your social media networks, mobile banking and online shopping, imagine if your phone landed in the wrong hands? Scary! Setting up a two factor authentication on your accounts and having your phone locked can avoid mayhem from happening.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

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Ads blocked?
by FCNB on 

Ads blocked?

 

If you are using the Google Chrome internet browser, Adblock is an essential add-on for you to download. Available for free, Adblock blocks any incoming ads on videos, websites and pop-ups.

 

This can help you protect yourself from potential scammers and fraud, as pop-ups and ads on websites are some of the most common ways scammers will use to push their products. And, if an ad is not blocked, you simply have to click on the Adblock icon in the top right corner of your browser and select it.

 

Adblock will now block that advertisement for you in the future and allow you to only see what it is you want to see. One of the best methods of protection is prevention.

 

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Ways to improve small business cybersecurity
by FCNB on 

Ways to improve small business cybersecurity

Happy Small Business Week! In an increasingly connected, automated and data-driven world, businesses need be extra vigilant about cybersecurity.

Did you know that 23 per cent of surveyed Canadian organizations that experienced a cyber-attack reported having been victim of extortion as a consequence? Additionally, 31 per cent of Canadian organizations reported an estimated loss of one to fifty thousand U.S. dollars as a result of cyber-attacks, with five percent reporting estimated losses of between five and one hundred million dollars.

Use the following five tips to better defend your business against cyber-attacks.
  1. Train Employees: Your employees should be your front-line defense by participating in your small business security plan. Having a cybersecurity policy is a great way to have set rules in place for your employees to have strong passwords and protocols in case of a breach. Sourcing an outside company that specializes in cyber training is also a great way to train your employees.
  2. Keep your computer and devices updated: Always keep your computers, including desktops, laptops and mobile devices up to date.
  3. Back up your work: All important business information should have a copy. If the information is ever stolen, or goes missing, you should have another copy somewhere.
  4. Limit Access: Unauthorized people should not have access to your company’s computer or accounts. Even a well-known and trusted person shouldn’t be allowed to access your computers and information. Make sure employees do not share information with your clients. Have individual logins for employees whenever possible.
  5. Secure your Wi-Fi: Your business’s Wi-Fi can be an easy way to access data. Make sure to secure your Wi-Fi so only employees can access it. If possible, set up a separate Wi-Fi for guests on a different network. Make sure that your employees are familiar with Wi-Fi Safety when out in the public for work trips.

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Safe online banking
by FCNB on 

Safe online banking

Online banking is a fantastic way of paying your bills and getting quick and easy access to your finances. It is also a great way for cybercriminals to attempt to steal your information.

Here are some of the ways they can attempt to do this:

  • Phishing: cybercriminals use fake emails that look like real emails from your bank or financial institution asking you to reply with personal information.
  • Malware: or malicious software is a program or file that is harmful to your computer; it can include a computer virus, spam, spyware and more. Cyber criminals use malware to get into your computer to steal your account information by capturing keystrokes or hijacking your account and transferring funds without your knowledge.
  • Pharming: these attacks by cybercriminals involve redirecting your access from a legitimate website to a fake website (also known as “spoofing”), which is designed to look like the real deal. It will look very similar to your online banking site but will include extra fields, such as your mother’s maiden name, or SIN. Without realizing it, the information you think you are submitting to the bank is sent directly to the attacker.

Keep a close eye on your financial accounts regularly, the more familiar you are with your transactions, the easier it will be to spot a problem. For more tips on safe internet banking, click here.

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Signs of malware infection
by FCNB on 

Signs of malware infection

 

Is your computer running slower than usual? Does it take longer to start some of your programs? It may be a sign of a malware infection. Malware slows down your operating system, your programs or internet speed.

 

If you notice anything like this and you’re not using any resource-heavy programs, check first for other causes. It may be that your fan is full of dust and it just needs to be cleaned, or that it needs an upgrade.

 

 

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I am not a robot.
by FCNB on 

I am not a robot.

 

Have you ever been on the Internet and came across a check box that says “I am not a robot”? Ever wonder why?

 

You first have to go back to the original CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. They’re the squished-up, stretched and squiggled, colour-blotched collection of letters that often must be deciphered before sending an email, posting a comment or making a purchase.

 

It was invented in 2000 by Luis von Ahn and his team at Carnegie Mellon University. The whole point of the original distorted text was to stop spam on the Internet. For example, preventing scalpers from using a computer program that would buy every ticket of an upcoming show in a fraction of a second.

 

CAPTCHAs work because computers are not as good as humans at reading distorted text.

 

It was then acquired by Google in September 2009. They decided to digitize the archives of the New York Times and all of Google’s books by scanning them and using optical character recognition (OCR) software to translate the words into digital text.

 

They would take words that were too hard for the computer to decipher, and upload them into the reCAPTCHA database. Going forward, instead of random distorted text, they would show words from books that computers couldn’t understand.

 

reCAPTCHA’s slogan was “Stop Spam, Read Books.” At one point, 100 million reCATCHAs were being read a day, which is the equivalent to 2.5 million books a year.

 

The issue with reCAPTCHAs and audio reCAPTCHAs is that they are not very accessible to those with visual or hearing impairments or dyslexia. Websites were also designed to solve reCAPTCHAs for you.

 

No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA

 

Google decided to change things. They got rid of the distorted text CAPTCHA and came up with the “I am a not a robot” option. When you click on it, it sends Google an http request with loads of useful information: your IP address, the way you move your mouse, your country, the time interval between different browser searches and other secret variables. 

 

The criteria are then processed by a machine-learning risk analyst at Google. Most of the time, the information can tell the difference between a human and a robot. If the risk analyst is still unsure, a small percentage of users will need to complete a second test, which is usually an image reCAPTCHA, such as clicking on all the images with a store front. When you prove you’re a human once this way, the chances are the Google engine will remember and won’t require you to do the second test again.

 

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Happy computer checklist
by FCNB on 

Happy computer checklist

 

Keeping your computer healthy and happy is just as important as bringing your car for a regular oil change.

 

Signs that your computer needs maintenance:

 

  • Slow start up
  • Takes a long time for web pages to load
  • Computer lag

 

These are also signs that your computer has been infected with a virus or malware. You should be maintaining your computer on a monthly basis.

 

Follow the steps below to keep your computer running like new. This will also help you eliminate computer issues if you are actually being hacked.

 

  1. Back up your data.
  2. Clean up your hard drive.
  3. Update Windows.
  4. Delete and organize your files.
  5. Uninstall old and unused programs.
  6. Update your anti-virus and malware programs and then perform a scan.
  7. Keep your cords neat and organized, and keep your computer dust free.

 

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Cybersecurity myths busted
by FCNB on 


Cybersecurity myths busted


Myth: Viruses and other malicious software can only affect my computer or laptop.

Reality: It can also affect your smartphone, tablet and other mobile devices.

 

Myth: The information on my social networks is safe from hackers.

Reality: Several well-known social networks have been hacked. They are prime targets for scammers, with attacks involving fake gift cards, celebrity endorsement ads and survey scams.

 

Myth: The free antivirus that comes with my computer is good enough to protect my information.

Reality: Ransomware is becoming more popular. This is when cybercriminals lock you out of your account for a sum of money. This type of malware requires higher protection than a basic, free antivirus can provide.


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