Here’s how to be safe online in Medicine Hat

James Parsons, CEO of Partek IT Solutions, a business specific technology company said everyone uses tech and is trying to be really efficient in their business or at home.

“They’re signing up for things, online shopping, all this stuff, right? So technology is a really big asset,” Parsons said.

“But we’ve kind of let our guard down, and we click on things. We forward things. We go to websites. And we don’t really think about it,” he added.

“You can put all this different tech in place. And you can have all these different systems to protect you. But human risk is the biggest risk. Make sure that you’re diligent.”

A major culprit in cyberattacks is phishing e-mails, or even phone calls asking for passwords called social engineering.

John Shoff, CEO of Reality Bytes Incorporated, said these have become harder to spot.

“A lot of times the emails got your actual name on it, or might even have some information about you to make you think that this is a legit email or could look like it’s coming from your actual bank,” Shoff said.

“They’re just targeting individuals hoping to, you know, just like phishing, right? Just hoping to get a bite, essentially.”

Parsons said to be very aware of what you share.

“Be very diligent about the e-mails you are getting. Be very careful about what information you are sharing online,” Parsons said.

“If you click a link and it’s asking for maybe your password or banking information, maybe double-check that thing twice,” he added.

“It’s too easy to just give things over, especially on the internet. Having that position of a little bit more lack of trust, that’s an okay thing.”

Parsons said having an extra layer of password protection can help keep you safe.

“Any account that you have, whether it’s your email, online banking, make sure that you have multi-factor authentication turned on,” Parsons said.

“Online banking is a great example. You log in, sends you a code to your phone. It’s an extra level of security that if someone gets your password, they’re not going to be able to get into the account.”

If you have been a victim of a cyberattack, there are some things to be aware of.

Shoff said contacting your providers for information technology and insurance if you have coverage would be a next step.

“If you have proper cyber insurance, that’s what the policy covers, and they have teams that will enact right away to assist from the moment of the breach to seeing what happened,” Shoff said.

“Investigating, restoring your data, getting your systems back online safely. If you are a business that’s really your first step,” he added.

“The worst thing you could do is start deleting or wiping out computer data, because that essentially gets rid of any sort of evidence that the investigators can find to track down who these people are.”

Parsons said if you fell the data breach is criminal then get the police involved.

“You want to really change your passwords, make sure you’ve got good backups of your data. And just maybe you want to monitor your credit for a little while,” Parsons said.

“But you want to sort of be in a position of changing those things so that it’s not out there still.”

When using technology in this day and age, making sure to think about what you are doing is of the utmost important to avoiding a data breach.

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