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How to Keep Safe from Cyber Attacks and Scams in Canada

3 min read

Every business, organization and individual needs to take charge to keep safe in this new world of cyber attacks.

From pipelines and public transit to medical infrastructures, the attacks keep coming and Canada is one of the world’s most targeted countries when it comes to cyber attacks.

You might hear the bigger stories in the news, but the everyday person is the one being targeted and attacked more frequently. This mean you are in danger, real danger, and need to understand the fundamentals and basics to protect yourself and your loved ones.

According to ID Ransomware submissions, 56% of all ransomware attacks are against individuals and their personal computers by holding their personal data, history and sensitive information for a ransom payout. Usually the payout is asked for in a cryptocurrency and the average value is $980 (USD). In the case that the victim does pay the ransom, the attacker will release their data back to them. If they don’t, they will release the information online for the public to see.

These attackers specifically target individuals who are less likely to practice secure online habits.

These attackers also capitalize on the fast change in people’s use of the internet in their life, when resources are scarce and support is limited.

The perfect storm is this current pandemic. Everyone had to become an expert in using their computers and the internet securely at home. Unfortunately, not everyone is a cyber security expert and the stats prove that these attackers have jumped on the opportunity.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center’s website, 56,577 Canadians reported fraud and $163 million dollars was lost to fraud in 2021 as of September 30. Last year, $106.6 Million dollars was lost to fraud. That is over 50% increase and the year isn’t over yet.

Every business and enterprise needs to take this as seriously as possible. Here at Motto, we specialize in infrastructure and security for our clients’ WordPress websites. If you are a victim of an attack or your website is not working the way it use to (you might be a victim and not even know it), contact us for a free consultation of your WordPress website.

For individuals, I implore you to start educating yourself on what you can do to protect yourself. In Canada the government takes it seriously and at the bottom of this article you will find government websites that focus on educating individuals on what they can do.

Also, report scams or attacks to your governing bodies that handle these type of situations. The more information they have the more chances they will have to prevent this from happening again. Don’t feel ashamed. Think of it as a duty to keep protecting yourself and everyone else around you.

Top 5 tips on protecting yourself from cyber and ransomware attacks

  • Don’t visit websites that are not credible or popular. If you do, learn how to use a VPN
  • Learn how to use a password manager like LastPass
  • Never give out any important and sensitive information over the phone or email
  • Never open emails or attachments from a contact you’ve never heard of before
  • Protect and secure all of your devices (access points to your data and attacks)

Canadian resources

https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects information on fraud and identity theft. We provide information on past and current scams affecting Canadians. If you think you’re a victim of fraud, report it!

https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/en

Get Cyber Safe is a national public awareness campaign created to inform Canadians about cyber security and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online.

https://cyber.gc.ca/

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) is Canada’s authority on cyber security. We have united existing operational cyber security expertise from Public Safety Canada, Shared Services Canada, and the Communications Security Establishment in to one high-functioning, responsive organization.

Credits

Featured Image

Photo by Philipdp Katzenberger on Unsplash

Stats and more information related to Ransomware attacks