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Alberta RCMP caution citizens about signs of cybercrime

Safeguard your information this Cyber Monday

By Ponoka News Staff

The holiday season is here and that means shopping. In particular, Cyber Monday is Dec. 2, when many businesses offer discounts for purchases made online. Not all sites are trustworthy though.

The Alberta RCMP is reminding citizens to be careful of cybercrime when shopping online.

“Cybercrime continues to grow and is defined as any instance where cyber (the Internet and information technologies) has a substantial role in a criminal offence,” stated an RCMP news release.

“It’s important to protect your identity online by taking precautions such as only visiting trusted websites and using secure networks for any financial transactions. Websites that use HTTPS rather than HTTP are more secure because they encrypt sensitive information.

“Having a strong password is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your information safe online. Change passwords often and use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Another important safeguard is to turn on your firewall.

“Not only are adults the victims of cybercrime, but children are as well. Parents are reminded to know which sites their kids visit and to educate them about staying safe online.”

Here are some other tips to stay safe online:

– Download apps from trusted sources

– Avoid public Wi-Fi for banking and financial transactions

– Use a unique password for every social media account

– Back up important data

– Be cautious when accessing unknown website links or attachments

– Delete suspicious emails

– Don’t save credit card information on websites

– Watch credit card statements for any unknown charges

If you have been the victim of a cybercrime and have provided personal or financial information, report this to local police, your bank, any companies where your identity may have been used, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

For more tips follow #CyberSafety and our social media accounts on Facebook (@RCMPinAlberta) and Twitter (@RCMPAlberta).