VANCOUVER ISLAND – October was Cyber Security Awareness Month. As a small business owner, you are probably spending more time than ever online, so staying safe needs to be top of mind. These days you can securely and conveniently access online banking 24/7. To ensure your online safety, financial institutions use critical measures like secure channels and robust encryption and authentication to protect your privacy and information.
But fraudsters never sleep, so remember you are a vital link in the chain keeping your online banking accounts safe. If you’ve fallen victim to a scam or lost a credit card, act quickly to secure your accounts by:
Reporting possible fraud as soon as possible: For credit and debit cards, contact your financial institution immediately if they’re stolen or you find payments you didn’t make. You can also put a fraud alert on your credit report.
Contacting authorities and closing your account if funds have been taken: Immediately file a police report, and then contact your financial institution to shut down the affected account.
Checking your credit report carefully: Fraudsters could open and then overdraw a new ac-count in your name. If you see evidence of fraud, contact your financial institution.
Once you’ve secured any compromised accounts, make sure you close any gaps in your cybersecurity. Create a strong unique password and keep in mind any phone, text or email requests for banking details, including your PAC or PIN, are fraudulent. Don’t respond! Phishing scams will often order you to “unlock” or “verify” your account. Your financial institution will never ask you to do this.
You should also keep your devices up to date, set up online banking alerts and monitor your transactions on a regular basis so you know what’s going on in your accounts. Never send personal financial information by email or message. Avoid phishing websites by typing in the address of your financial institution manually or using your own bookmarks and never click on unsolicited links. And don’t forget to set up 2-factor authentication whenever it’s available! Get more tips at cccu.ca on foiling fraud.
Taking these steps will help you breathe easier and make fraudsters’ lives harder.
If you would like more information about growing your business, give Coastal Community Credit Union a call at 1.888.741.1010.
Katharina Schulte-Bisping is an Assistant Manager for Coastal Community Credit Union in the Comox Valley.