Protect your data
Keep confidential information safe
As mobile devices and personal computers are being used to do more each year, it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect your personal and confidential information. Below are just some of the steps you can take to protect your data. More information on protecting yourself can be found at www.getcybersafe.ca.
Passwords are a must
- Make sure that your device is password protected.
- Ensure that the password, passphrase or PIN that you use is strong and cannot be easily guessed.
- Configure your settings to ensure that your device locks after a short period of time.
Keep track of important information
- For mobile devices, have your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number written down or stored somewhere safe (you may access this number by typing *#06# into your device or by looking on the back of your device behind the battery).
Software security is critical
- Keep device and computer software up to date. This will ensure that the security features are working to their maximum capabilities.
- Do not remove or alter any of the manufacturer’s security features.
- Do not install any illegal software or software that does not come from a trusted source. For more information software used by cyber criminals to infect systems and devices and steal information, click here.
The right app can help
- Consider using an application that will allow you to locate and remove/erase data from your device remotely in the event of loss/theft.
- Review all requests for access permissions carefully when installing applications and software.
Keep your eyes open for red flags
- Do not click on any links in emails or text messages that seem suspicious, including emails or messages from someone that you do not know or that you were not expecting. For information on the types of emails and message to look out for click here.
- Beware of unsolicited calls, texts, or emails where the caller or sender asks you for personal information, including your name, address, birthdate, Social Insurance Number (SIN), or your credit card or banking information. If you receive an unexpected call or message alleging to be from your bank, law enforcement or a government agency, do not provide your personal information and instead hang up and make an outgoing call to the relevant institution (using the contact information on their website, not the information provided during the call or in the message) to determine if the call or message you received is legitimate.
- For more information on protecting yourself from scams and frauds visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website here.
- Clear the device of all personal data when recycling your cell phone or computer.
- When using your mobile device or computer to log on to websites, make sure that you completely log out after each session.
- Use only secure Wi-Fi networks.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections when not in use.
Watch out for “shoulder surfing”
- When using your device or computer, look out for people staring over your shoulder. Use the same precautions that you would employ at an ATM and shield your device.
Always have a backup plan
- Back up important files and information that you wouldn’t want to permanently lose.
- Check out device insurance options with your wireless service provider.