Are you an ‘over-sharer’ when it comes to social media?
If so, you may want to think twice about being too relaxed when it comes to the security levels on your profiles.
With tablets, social media sites and apps popping up everywhere, the majority of Canadians (84%) are now concerned that they may become the victim of online fraud due to the amount of information shared online, according to the TD’s third annual Fraud Prevention Month poll.
Fraudsters have developed sophisticated methods of stealing data or tricking consumers in order to obtain personal information through online channels.
While the number of Canadians worried about traditional fraud dropped seven percentage points to 72% this year, the poll indicated that more consumers are now worried about the new types of fraud that might emerge alongside the countless sites and media products released everyday.
The types of scams currently feared by Canadians, and with good reason, are online fraud (84%), malicious social media apps (77%), phishing (72%) and fraudulent cell phone apps (61%).
“As technology continues to evolve, so too do the tricks fraudsters use to try and steal your information,” says Justin Hwang, associate vice-president, fraud management, TD Canada Trust. “Banks and credit card companies have sophisticated security measures in place and work closely with law enforcement to protect their customers, but it is important to remember that you are the first line of defense.”
With social media sites and apps proliferating faster than measures can be put in place, consumers must be wary of the level of security and enforcement available online.
Hwang indicates that consumers should watch out for malicious smart phone and social media apps in particular.
“It’s encouraging to see so many Canadians taking steps to protect themselves, but remember that fraudsters can lurk in unsuspecting places—including social media sites and even in mobile phone app stores, “ he says. “Always be cautious when downloading apps for your cell phone, tablet or computer [and] stay with apps from well-known and trusted brands [that] maintain a high level of security and integrity.”
The good news is that Canadians are indeed taking actions to protect themselves from ‘online bandits’. Their methods include:
- updating their security software and virus/malware protection (86%)
- changing the privacy settings on their social media accounts to the highest possible level (73%)
- utilizing the automatic lock function with password protection on their phones, tablets, or computers (54%),
- Never texting or emailing banking information (46%)
- Never downloading social media apps from unknown sources (45%)
- Never sharing email or social media site passwords (45%)
Canadians have also upped the ante in their fight against traditional fraud, with the number of Canadians concerned about issues like debit card fraud rising from 81% to 87%.
More Canadians now rely solely on ATMs that belong to their bank (65% versus 58% in 2011), have spoken to their bank about reducing their withdrawal limit (30% versus 25% in 2011), and change their PINs every couple of months (19% versus 12% in 2011).
Some, however, continue to engage in risky behaviour, such as the 11% of Canadians who shared their credit card number or bank account number through email.
“Most fraud can be avoided if you are proactive and follow basic tips, like shielding your PIN when making a transaction and safeguarding your personal information online and offline,” says Hwang.
Also read: Canadians under-rate fraud risk