31 October 2023
Technology has enabled us to live with convenience and accessibility more and more each day. We have great power at our fingertips and can effortlessly perform numerous tasks from our phones and laptops, including managing our finances online.
From paying bills to transferring funds, shopping online, and monitoring investments, we have the convenience of handling it all on our mobile devices and computers. However, as we grow more adept at using these apps and tools, and as technology evolves and becomes increasingly sophisticated, we must continually educate ourselves on how to safeguard our data and security,and avoid becoming targets of cybercriminals.
Here are a few tips to help protect yourself online:
1. Be wary of messages and emails sent to your devices.
Never share your private information outside of secure channels, especially when it involves providing account numbers, credit card details, personal data, personal identification number (PIN), or answers to common verification questions like your mother's maiden name. Never share your One Time Password (OTP).
Cybercriminals may attempt to contact you via phone calls, SMS, or emails, so exercise caution. If you are unsure about the legitimacy or security of the source, do not respond and avoid further communication. For concerns related to your bank, contact your bank provider directly.
2. Do not access or download suspicious content.
One common tactic used by cybercriminals is to direct you to malicious websites via links or encourage you to download suspicious files that can make your devices vulnerable to hacking. To protect yourself, always verify the source and avoid downloading content from untrusted senders or opening suspicious attachments especially those with “.exe” at the end of the file name.
3. Use strong, unique passwords.
Avoid using the same password for all your accounts to prevent a breach in one account compromising others. Also, steer clear of easily guessable information like birthdays and common words as passwords. Instead, create unique, complex passwords for your online accounts by combining upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
4. Protect your personal information.
While we share various details on social media, from vacation photos to recent purchases, be cautious about the personal information you post online, particularly your address, phone numbers, and financial data. Avoid sharing sensitive personal information details.
5. Invest in security software.
To safeguard your private and financial information when you go online, invest in anti-malware and antivirus software. These tools will automatically block suspicious websites and provide an additional layer of security. Alongside this, ensure that your software is regularly updated to prevent breaches and security vulnerabilities.
Remember that Manulife Investment Management and Trust Corporation will never ask you to verify or divulge your personal information, such as your account number, via email links or text messages. If you receive an email or text message from an unofficial or unverified source requesting confidential information, do not engage. Immediately change your Manulife iFUNDS password and report the incident to email@example.com.
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