Pro­tect­ing your ac­counts from on­line crooks

Sco­tia­bank out­lines tech­niques for Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Aware­ness Month

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

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.

MAL­WARE Def­i­ni­tion

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).

Pro­tect your­self

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 phish­ing@sco­tia­bank.com.

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).

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