Fraud Prevention Month: Protect yourself from online security pit
Fraud Prevention Month is an annual public awareness campaign held in March. Championed by The Competition Bureau of Canada, over 125 government agencies and public and private sector organizations, like PayPal, collaborate to inform Canadians about the impact of fraud, how to recognize it in its many forms – including cybercrime, and how to protect themselves.
Why are campaigns like Fraud Prevention Month important? According to a Norton Report by Symantec, fraudulent transactions cost Canadians $3.1 billion in 2013. Furthermore, 68 per cent of Canadian adults have experienced cybercrime at some stage of their lives.
While these statistics are eye opening, they should not leave you feeling hopeless. Understanding potential security pitfalls is the best way to avoid them. For Fraud Prevention Month, PayPal will share information on how to prevent identity theft, avoid phishing scams and best practices to equip you with the knowledge to fend off fraudsters and scammers. Below are a few simple online security tips that you can follow to stay safe.
Protect your personal and financial information
  • Use a PIN or password protect your devices. Choosing not to set a PIN or password protect your devices is like leaving the front door to your house unlocked. 
  • Create safer passwords. A secure password should be a complex combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use everyday words or names or your date of birth that can be easily guessed. Keep login and password details private, change it regularly and don’t use the same one on multiple sites.
  • Install updates ASAP. Turn on automatic updates on your computer or mobile device if that’s an available option. Make sure you have the latest antivirus software protecting your personal computer.
  • Never share your personal or financial details including passwords in response to an unsolicited email, even if it looks to be from a legitimate source or brand you recognize.
  • Always log out of sites you have entered personal information on. Even though it seems convenient, don’t click the “Remember me” option or let your browser save personal details.
  • Buy from a secure site. When shopping online, watch out for deceptive websites that could steal your private information and make sure the website you are buying from is secure. Preferably shop from websites whose URL starts with “https” (the “s” indicates secure). Most secure browsers display a “lock icon” next to the URL and there should be a colour-coded address bar, often green, indicating that the URL is secure.
  • Use a digital wallet, like PayPal. We never share your financial information with sellers or retailers, so you can shop with peace of mind at millions of sites around the world.
At PayPal, we take your personal and financial security very seriously and we work constantly to make sure that our security protocols are among the best in the industry. Combining advanced data processing with human oversight, we keep your money moving to the good guys and out of the hands of the bad guys. Our system gets smarter with every transaction we process allowing us to accurately identify and prevent fraudulent behavior.  
How PayPal protects you:
  • We use the latest security technology to help protect you from online fraud.
  • PayPal safely stores all of your personal and financial information in the cloud – not on a device – so you’re protected if your phone or laptop is lost or stolen.
  • We have employees dedicated to answering your phishing email queries, identifying unauthorized transactions and working with law enforcement authorities, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to help stop scammers.
I encourage you to be aware of the simple steps you can take to help prevent fraud and financial loss. I hope these tips give you the knowledge and confidence to transact online – safely.

Kerry Reynolds, Head, Consumer Marketing, PayPal Canada

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