Internet security and safety
The internet is filled with interesting information that we can explore, but it also comes with risks that hackers and cybercriminals are waiting to exploit. Below are some best practices for when it comes to using the internet.
Public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure and can make your personal information vulnerable and accessible to cybercriminals. Whenever possible, avoid using public Wi-Fi to access sensitive information like online banking or personal accounts (e.g. My TELUS). If you must use public Wi-Fi to access an account where login credentials are (e.g. email address and password) required, be sure the account’s website starts with "https" (e.g. https://www.gmail.com), which indicates that it is a secure website (see example below).
A secure website always begins with “https”. The “s” indicates a more secure version than the standard “http” website and encrypts the information sent between your device and the website.
When shopping or paying bills online, be sure the merchant’s website is secure and there is a secure payment transaction system. Look at the lock icon in the status bar of your browser. If the site is secure, the lock will be closed.
Security and anti-virus software
Installing security software is a good way to help protect your privacy online. To help you understand the difference between various types of security software, we have created a list, highlighting the features and benefits of each:
- Anti-virus software can detect and delete virus files before they attack your device
- Anti-spyware software can prevent harmful spyware and adware files from being installed on your device. Spyware and adware allow fraudsters to monitor your web browsing patterns, track your keystrokes and inundate you with annoying (and sometimes harmful) pop-up ads
- A personal firewall can monitor both incoming and outgoing internet traffic from your device. These firewalls protect you from being hacked and having viruses/spyware installed without your knowledge. Most firewall programs also block unauthorized access to the internet from your device