In his latest book, The Globe and Mail, digital security expert Dan Sperling shares his tips on how to stay safe online.
“You don’t want to be the guy who is a fraudster, but you don’t have to be either,” he said.
“It’s not a problem if you can figure out how to prevent yourself from being the one that commits fraud.”
A report from the Canadian Association of Information Security Professionals (CISAOP) showed that fraudsters are targeting a wider range of individuals, including businesses and governments.
“A lot of it is based on personal relationships,” said Dan Sverdrup, a consultant with the association.
“If you’re not the right person for someone’s project, then you’re likely to be targeted.”
Here are the top tips Sperlin has learned from a lifetime of dealing with fraudsters.
Don’t trust strangers, or people who aren’t trustworthy You should never trust someone without their permission.
You should always speak with a trusted trusted source if you want to know what’s going on.
“Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, but don’t just blindly trust it,” he says.
“The people who have been caught, the people who are trying to get away with it are probably doing it because they’ve been told they’ve got something to hide, or they’ve received a gift.”
Sperle says that, when it comes to fraud, trust is key.
“I’ve been a fraud investigator for 20 years and I’ve never seen a case where a fraud investigation has gone beyond what I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” he told the audience at the recent International Cybercrime Forum in Montreal.
“Most of these people, they’re not trying to steal your business.
They’re not getting you money.
They’ve been given money and they’re being offered money.”
Use a virtual currency Sperl notes that there are various virtual currencies available to those who are in the financial sector, such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.
“They have to do the work to find a real account holder and that takes time,” he noted.
“And you have to find people who can’t be traced.”
Use the “right” social media platforms You don’t need to be in the right place to be noticed.
“People who are not in the most trusted, most trusted social networks tend to be those who aren and they are the ones who tend to engage in more fraud,” he adds.
Use “real” emails and passwords When it comes time to send a digital message to someone, don’t use a “real name” email address or password.
That’s a security risk because it means the message is potentially sent to someone who is not in your email address book.
Sperler says that a well-thought out password that doesn’t use characters other than “A” and “z” can be an effective security measure.
“Even if you have a real, unique email address, a password that uses characters other then ‘a’, ‘z’ and ‘a’ is an effective way to secure messages,” he explained.
Keep a clean home and office The home and workplace are the best places to protect your digital security.
“There are certain things you need to have in your home and your office, and if you’re doing that right, you can take advantage of that,” he advises.
“When you’re cleaning up after yourself, there’s something to be done and something you can do that makes you feel good about yourself.”
And if you don�t have a computer, then your job as a hacker is just as important.
“Hacking isn�t about using the best computer, but the best software that you have,” Sperli says.
Use your smartphone to track down the source of your digital theft If you can, use your smartphone for the same purpose.
Sverden suggests you use a third-party app like Google Authenticator or Bitlocker, which is “not about tracking down the perpetrators of your theft.”
Instead, they offer you a mobile app that can be used to track your stolen data.
“What is it?
It’s a service that you can use to access the data of other users, so if you find yourself with your data on the web, you could be the one who was stolen from,” he added.
Follow the steps below to avoid a financial scam.
First, find out who your real-name email address is If you have any doubts about who you are, check out your address book to see who you have contact information for.
“Check your personal information,” says Sperlie.
“Use the ‘signature’ option in Google, or you can click the ’email verification’ link.”
If you’re using Bitlockers app, sign in with your personal account details.
If you donít have the details,