SaskTel reminds customers to protect themselves from cyber scams by using digital self-defense

March is Fraud Prevention Month and SaskTel is reminding its customers to practice digital self-defense to protect themselves and their personal information from falling victim to cyber scams.

“Modern communications technologies have made it easier than ever to connect with our friends and loved ones, especially during this past year when those connections have mattered most,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “However, with cyber criminals also using these same technologies to evolve and execute their scams, it has become increasingly important for us all to take proactive steps to protect our personal information online and to know what to do when we receive a suspicious message.”

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“Cyber scams look very real and anyone can be victimized. Your identity information belongs to you, and you are responsible for it. If you are asked to share your identity information, ensure you have a full understanding of what it is going to be used for, how long it will be retained, and if it will be further disseminated,” said Inspector Andrew Farquhar, Officer-in-Charge of Federal Operations for the Saskatchewan RCMP. “Cyber scams see no borders. We encourage anyone who may have fallen victim to a cyber scam to report these to us immediately because it may assist police in advancing our investigations and help us identify additional victims in Saskatchewan or across Canada.”

Digital Self-Defense – Proactive Protection Tips:

* Use a strong and unique password or passphrase for each online account.

* Don’t share personal or other sensitive information on social media or online.

* Use strong anti-virus and anti-malware/spyware software programs on your devices. * Keep your device software up to date and install critical security patches as soon as they are available.

* Know that a legitimate business will never ask for you to confirm personal or account information in an unsolicited email, phone call or message.

Digital Self-Defense – What to do if you receive a suspicious message?

* Do not open the message, report it to complaints.abuse@sasktel.com and then delete it. In some cases, simply opening the message may compromise the security of your device.

* If you opened the message, do not reply to it or click on any links or attachments. Instead, follow up with the person or business who supposedly sent it by navigating to their website through a legitimate search engine or by contacting the person directly.

If you think you have fallen victim to a cyber scam you should immediately report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501. All types of fraud can also be reported to the Saskatchewan RCMP by calling 310-RCMP or contacting your local police service.

Additionally, you should act quickly to change your online passwords, and inform essential businesses, such as your financial institution, that your information may have been compromised so that the necessary steps can be taken to secure your accounts.

For more information about how to protect yourself online please visit www.sasktel.com/support.

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