Cyber Security: Here’s What You Need to Know

Cyber security is the protection against internet-connected cyber threats. These cyber attackers can interfere with systems like software, hardware, and data Both individuals and companies should practice cyber security to ensure protection from external and unauthorized parties retrieving insider data.

In the modern online world of smartphones, computers and other devices, programs are constantly growing, so it’s important to polish up your cyber security knowledge as scammers are evolving with the improving technology. This is especially important when dealing with your bank accounts.

Cyber crime is substantially common amongst credit unions and their members. The good news is, banks and credit unions are constantly ramping up their cyber security practices and teaching their members to do so too.

So, on that note, and in the theme of cyber security month, we’ve compiled all sorts of important information to help our members feel safe and protected from cyber threats while using your online banking and other internet-connected systems.


Let’s start with the cyber security basics

Back up your files

Back up your files and systems offline. In a situation where your network is encrypted, you’ll have your files ready for restoring.

Review your passwords

Make sure your passwords are different between accounts and networks. If you find it challenging to keep up with multiple passwords, try using a password manager. Enable two-step passwords whenever possible, especially for your online accounts. i.e. your password followed by a security question.

Make sure you have a strong password for your digital banking account, so you have total control and security over your online banking. As a financial institution, protecting your money in an online world is our number one priority. You can help us by creating a safe and secure password.

Review your browser

Review your browser, especially your permission settings. Be cautious of what programs you let access your location, passwords, and contact list. You should know why they need this information. Limiting the number of accounts with login access could stop an attacker before it’s too late.

Keep your social media private

Avoid sharing too much on social media. You can do this by keeping your profiles locked and deleting old content you no longer need. Look yourself up with a search engine to see what information about you is circulating and how your profile looks from the public’s perspective.

Keep your banking information off social media. No matter the situation, even in messenger, you should never share your banking details with anyone. If someone hacks into your social media, you won’t have to worry about your bank account getting hacked too!

Stay on top of your emails

Do regular checks of your inbox and junk and delete what looks concerning. Pay close attention to documents that contain your date of birth or social insurance number. Set up an alert through your email or phone. You can get notifications for every transaction or transfer.

Offering you peace of mind and security, Access’s account alerts allow you to continuously monitor your account by automatically sending an alert via text message, email or push notifications when there is a specific activity on your accounts.

Set up Access account alerts


Cyber Security Banking: Best Practices

Monitor your banking activity

Stay on top of your online and mobile banking. Monitoring all your transactions, especially your credit cards, is an essential step to strengthen cyber security. Some scammers use your accounts to make small purchases to see if you notice before scamming you with bigger purchases. If you don’t recognize a transaction contact your credit union immediately.

Avoid transactions on public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-fi networks are often not secured, making it an easy task for hackers to eavesdrop on your activity and to steal your banking information. Keep your online purchases and transaction monitoring for when you are at home on your own wi-fi or somewhere you know.

Secure your home network

Your home Wi-Fi has access to your household phones, tablets, laptops, and more. If you don’t password protect your Wi-Fi, someone can quickly and easily get access to your networks, such as remote hackers or even your next-door neighbour. If you already have a password, you may want to practice regular changes to ensure it stays secure as possible.

Make sure your router is up to date with the latest updated system. This guarantees you protected your device with the latest security.

If you’re worried about guests using your Wi-Fi, get an additional network for visitors only. This will stop anyone from seeing or communicating with your devices connected to your primary network.


Upgrading your smartphone? Make sure you restore it

Is it already time to get a new phone? With the rapidly progressing technology, smartphones continue to advance and transform with new features resulting in people constantly upgrading their devices.

But wait! Before you dispose of your old smartphone, you may not realize how much personal and sensitive data is actually on your device.

Here’s a general list

  • Contact details of everyone you know
  • All your photos, videos and audio recordings
  • All of the saved passwords you’ve tracked in your features, online
    banking, social media and email logins
  • Old texts, emails, or direct message histories

Although you may have deleted most data, that’s not enough to secure your information. Instead, you should wipe all data on your device and reset it to factory settings. Lastly, make sure you transfer or destroy your device’s SIM card so no additional information is leaked.

Now you can safely dispose of or sell your device worry-free!


Identifying and responding to ransomware

Ransomware is software designed to block users from accessing their computer system until they pay a sum of money. This software can delete business files and steal data and finances. Ransomware is one of the most common online scams as of 2020.

Recognize where ransomware comes from:

  • A link in an email
  • Downloadable games
  • Free sharing applications
  • Popup messages

Control the damage

  • Contact law enforcements immediately
  • Make sure you inform all applications involved
  • Do not pay a ransom as recommended by law enforcements


Avoid Phishing

Phishing is an online fraud where senders will try to trick you into giving out personal information or click a link as a method to steal your identity or money.

Phishers will request things like your login credentials, credit card numbers, or your social insurance number. Attackers will disguise themselves as trusted sources through emails, instant messages, or texts.

If you suspect a phisher is contacting you, do not click any links or provide them with any personal details. Report the message to law enforcement and delete the message as soon as possible.


Dealing with hackers? Here's what to do:

Everyone comes across a scam at least once, no matter how careful you are. Following these essential steps will help gain back complete access and security to your account.

Updating your software is an important recovery step after dealing with a hacker. Keeping your smartphone, laptop, and other online devices updated ensures you have the latest security systems and protection against hackers.

It’s a good idea to report the fraud. If the hacker used your account to complete an online crime, resulting in financial harm or threat, report the case, and the law will take care of it to protect your account and financial status. This will also defend others who may not know about the scam yet.

Lastly, make sure to contact your credit union or bank immediately so they can lock your accounts before even more damage takes place. Notifying your friends and family that someone hacked you will let them take precautions of messages coming from you.


When in doubt, contact us

Contact our Member Solutions Centre if you suspect someone has gained knowledge of your access code, PIN, or password, if there are errors in your account information or if you want additional details regarding our privacy and security policies.

Get in touch!