Valley First

Resisting Virtual Cat and Mouse Games

Resisting virtual cat and mouse games requires a change of mind

March 26, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—As national Fraud Prevention Month winds down, Valley First is urging people to stay up to date on fraud. While keeping your computer’s software current is important, Jaime Lord, supervisor of corporate security at Valley First, says warding off online fraud takes more than technology.

“Your devices are only part of the solution,” says Lord. “Making sure your operating system and anti-virus programs are up to date is really the second step of what should be a holistic approach to cyber safety.”

The foundation for fighting fraud starts with people, not devices, says Dominic Vogel, IT Security Analyst at Valley First.

“Knowledge is power,” Vogel says. “When you take a bit of time to become familiar with the most common ploys fraudsters use and why they work, you’re empowered to weed those threats out of your online world.”

Vogel points out that online fraud succeeds because it targets an individual’s needs—and sometimes just plain old curiosity.

“Fraudsters prey on our deeply-ingrained need for security and well-being” he says. “Most of the phishing scams out there promise a windfall of some sort or create a sense of fear by saying there’s a limited time to respond. People are tempted to wonder if that email with the too-good-to-be-true offer is real, if it could be the end to all their financial woes. It stirs up curiosity and tempts them to click on malicious links and attachments or impulsively respond to the scam with their account information.”

Fortunately, Lord says that phishing—and most other types fraud attempts—can virtually be avoided with some knowledge and common sense.

“Think before you click by asking yourself some simple questions,” she says. “Ask yourself if you know the sender or recognize the sender’s email address, and if you’re expecting an email of this nature. Financial institutions or reputable companies will not send you emails asking for your personal information or banking credentials.”

Vogel notes that other safeguards against fraud require some computer basics, but can easily be learned by everyone. He recommends the Government of Canada’s cyber safety resources at http://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/ as a good starting place to learn plenty about protecting your computer and confidential, online information.

Learn more about protecting yourself from online and other types of fraud.

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit www.valleyfirst.com.

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