Protecting your accounts from online crooks
Scotiabank outlines techniques for Cyber Security Awareness Month
TECHNOLOGY HAS significantly changed the way persons do business across the world.
Look at banking, for example. Some years ago, you would never have imagined that banking could have become so efficient and convenient.
No need any more to wait in lines or to run to the bank before it closes.
Now, thanks to the digital offerings through the Internet and mobile phones, banking can be done whenever you want, with 24/7 access to accounts and the ability to transfer funds, pay bills, or check account balances as the need arises.
But this shift in technology has not been limited to businesses. The criminals and con artistes are also using high-tech tactics in an effort to capture customer information for ill gain.
As part of the activities for Cyber Security Awareness Month, Scotiabank is utilising a number of avenues to sensitise Jamaicans and educate them on how to protect themselves in this new age. One activity is the hosting of a series of educational forums titled ‘Securing Your Finances in the Digital Age’, the first of which was held recently at the Scotiabank Centre.
Leighton Mitchell, Scotiabank’s manager, forensics, took the opportunity to highlight a number of issues that are now being noticed as Jamaicans embrace the new technologies. Terms such as phishing, malware, and identify theft are more and more familiar as we become exposed to these online threats.
So how do you protect yourself in this digital age? Below are pointers highlighted by Mitchell as he encourages Jamaicans to protect themselves and take better control of their personal information.
The term malware is derived from the words “malicious” and “software”.
The expression is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or programme code.
All computers are vulnerable to malicious
software, particularly those that are exposed to the Internet (e.g., desktop PCs, laptops, servers, and mobile devices). Examples of malicious software include viruses, botnets, worms, logic bombs, keystroke loggers, trojan horses, and remote access trojans (RATS).
Malware can be used to record audio files, capture the screen, and capture key strokes while you work, which makes it easy for them to capture your banking information as well.
Computers can be infected with malware through various means often involving a user who: J opens an affected email, J browses a compromised website, or J opens an unknown file on a removable storage media (e.g., USB drive).
J If you suspect that your computer is infected with malware, discontinue using it for banking, shopping, or other activities involving sensitive information.
J Use security software and/or professional help to find and remove malware.
J Maintain active and up-to-date antivirus protection provided by a reputable vendor. Schedule regular scans of your computer in addition to realtime scanning.
J Use firewalls on your local network to add another layer of protection for all the devices that connect through the firewall (e.g., PCs, smartphones, and tablets).
J Require a password to gain access. Log off or lock your computer when not in use.
J Take immediate action if you see signs of spyware on your PC. This includes pop-up ads, icons on your desktop, error messages, sluggish/slow PC performance.
J Scotiabank offers FREE downloads of the Trusteer Rapport security software, which protects online banking communication from being stolen by criminals. It is highly recommended and offered as an extra layer of security to any antivirus or security software you already use.
PHISHING Definition “Phishing” is a type of identity theft where criminals use email to try to bait you into fake websites.
This kind of identity theft scam attempts to persuade its victims to fill out a form with details of their bank accounts, credit card numbers and other personal information. Protect yourself
J Never click on suspicious links in emails, tweets, posts, or online advertising. Links can take you to a website other than the one indicated by the labels. Typing an address in your browser instead of clicking a link in an email is a safer alternative.
J Only submit sensitive information to websites using encryption to ensure your information is protected. Verify that the web address begins with “https://” (the “s” is for secure) rather than just “http://”. Some browsers also display a closed padlock. See more online at http://jamaica-gleaner.com/.
I If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft and you are a Scotiabank customer, please contact your branch or call 1-888-4-SCOTIA (1-888-472-6842) immediately. Forward fraudulent emails or information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scotiabank cyber security expert Leighton Mitchell (centre) shows customer Lennox Richards (right), Richards Surgical Supplies Equipment Limited, the Scotiabank Online Security Guarantee in an informative booklet on online security produced by the bank. Mitchell had just presented at the first in a series of security seminars titled ‘Securing Your Finances in the Digital Age’ focused on educating customers on preventative options. Looking on is Scotiabank Centre Branch Manager Stredic Thompson (left).