With the spread of technology, we perform many conveniences on the computer ranging from emailing to financial transactions. With this ease of use, we increase the threat of exploitation and fraud. You can protect yourself by:
- using a password which consists of both letters and numbers which make it difficult for others to guess. Avoid using the names of your children or family as a password. This password should be changed regularly;
- avoid the use of automatic logins which include your user identification and a password. Instead, manually enter this information and change the password at least every one or two months;
- install a firewall to prevent uninvited guests in accessing your computer remotely;
- install an anti-virus software program and regularly update enhancements to the program;
- every 1 to 2 months update your operating system to ensure you have all the up-to-date operating system patches;
- avoid opening email messages from individuals you don’t know;
- don’t send confidential or personal information in an email message. Email messaging is not secure and is comparable to a post card in the general mail system;
- use a wipe program to overwrite your hard drive if you are selling the computer or disposing of it. The standard method of deleting a document is not a guarantee that the document has been totally removed from your computer. It is quite easy to recover deleted documents. However, the wipe program will ensure that your deleted documents will not easily be retrievable by unknown persons. Your best safeguard is to destroy the hard drive with a hammer and guaranteeing that your documents cannot be accessed;
- shop and bank online only from trusted websites with the secure symbol clearly displayed
- lock up your laptop computer when you are not using it; and
- consider installing encryption software on your computer if your computer contains confidential information. Then encrypt the appropriate information files to prevent other individuals from viewing the details in the event the computer is stolen.
If you suspect that your computer has been compromised, telephone the Port Moody Police Department at 604-461-3456.
We encourage you to become informed and vigilant in protecting yourself and personal information. To provide you more information on this topic, please visit this website –
SafeCanada – Internet Safety.