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Create Strong Passwords

A strong password is critical to protecting your online accounts. And, while we may find it tiresome to create and remember them, it is important to keep in mind that passwords are often the first defence against cyber criminals. They protect personal information, like bank accounts, health data, or private documents from falling into the wrong hands. But what makes a password strong?

Here are some simple steps you can take to strengthen your passwords:

  • Use one password/passphrase per account, especially those dealing with sensitive or financial information.
  • Complexity is nice, but length is key. Always use the maximum password length allowed by the application. Aim for at least 16 characters, if possible.
  • Avoid common words like “password” or “user”, or anything that can be easily guessed like your birthday, or obvious sequences of letters or numbers like “1234” or “ABCD.”
  • Be creative. Some of the strongest passwords aren't words, but a collection of words or "passphrases". Passphrases, made of randomly-chosen words, can be both easy to remember and hard for someone else to guess, which is what we want out of a passphrase. Here are some examples: "Delay Elephant Buy” or “Europe Profit Now”
    • Replacing some letters with spaces, numbers or special characters – for example, @ replaces an “A” or $ replaces an “S” – can help increase the strength of your password. But don’t rely on obvious substitutions, liking substituting an “o” with a “0” - for example, “H0use” instead of “House”.
  • Consider a password manager. Password managers generate strong, random passwords and remember them so you don’t have to. And, it stores your login information for the all websites you use in your own personal, encrypted password database that can be accessed with one master password/passphrase. It’s the only one you’ll need to remember.
    • Several password managers are available. Some of the more popular ones include: Dashlane, LastPass, KeePass.

Protect Your Passwords

Keep Your Online Banking Information Secure

As technology continues to improve, so do potential threats. Here are some tips to help ensure a safe and secure online banking experience:

  • If a website doesn’t look valid, play it safe. Do not sign in or enter any personal information. Instead, contact us.

  • Never login to online banking using a link sent through email, text message, or social media. Instead, type the address into your browser.

  • Always log off and close your browser when you finish your session. It's also good practice to clear your browser's memory cache regularly to improve security.

  • Don’t reveal your login information to anyone, even if they claim to be a representative of RBC. We will never ask you for that information by email, text or phone.

  • ALWAYS use a trusted computer. Never use public Wi-Fi for banking activities.

  • Keep your software up to date. Software companies routinely improve the security of their programs, so be sure you are using the latest version.

  • Sign up for RBC alerts to stay up to date on important details of your financial life. Get notified when your account shows a large withdrawal or a balance below your set limit. Visit RBC Online Banking to learn more. If you’ve downloaded the RBC Mobile banking app and enabled push notifications, you’ll also get alerts on your mobile device.

Protect Your Credit and Debit Cards

Steer Clear of Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is convenient, but that convenience comes with security risks. Criminals can intercept any information that you send while using public Wi-Fi, such as passwords or online banking information. Don’t assume that anything you send over free Wi-Fi networks is private or secure, even if using your own device.

Here are some things to consider to keep your mobile devices and private information safe on public Wi-Fi:

  • Avoid logging into any accounts with private or sensitive information while on a public Wi-Fi network.

  • Consider using a secure and encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN).

  • Be aware of who is around you and who may be looking over your shoulder to see what you’re doing.

  • Remember that using a secure Wi-Fi connection doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take other online security precautions.

Protect Your Mobile Devices

Be Vigilant When You Shop Online

Online shopping is convenient, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of safety. Here are some tips to help you shop safely online:

  • Check the Security of the Website You’re Visiting
    Look for the little padlock icon on the left hand side of the URL bar and ensure the website you’re visiting has an address that begins with “https.” This is not a guarantee that the site is secure, but if those indicators are not there, use caution.

  • Read Reviews Online Before Buying
    Read reviews of retailers you are thinking of buying from and ensure they’re legitimate and trustworthy businesses.

Keep Your Email Safe

Email is one of the easiest ways criminals can target you, but there are ways to reduce the risk. Here are some tips:

  • Sharing personal or financial information over email is not recommended. Do not post your email address on public forums or give your email address to sites you don’t trust.

  • Any email that is not encrypted is not secure. You should assume anything sent on unencrypted email is public.

  • Never click on an unknown link or open an attachment you weren’t expecting, especially if it’s from someone you don’t know. Here’s more on how to spot phishing scams.

  • Do not reply to spam emails or click on the unsubscribe buttons in such emails. This notifies criminals that your email address is active.

Protect Yourself on Social Media

Many people associate cyber crime with computer hacking, but a great deal of fraud comes from criminals piecing together information about users from various social channels – such as your name, date of birth, location, even your bank details. Here are some ways you can keep your social media account safe:

  • Don’t Accept Friend Requests From People You Don’t Know
    This can leave you open to scams like spear phishing, and reveals your personal information to complete strangers.

  • Never Share Personal or Banking Information on Social Media Platforms, Even in Private Messages
    Social media platforms may not be secure, and people may not be who they say they are.

  • Control Your Privacy Settings
    Social media platforms let you choose what information you reveal to friends and to the public. Ensure you have a firm grasp of what information is public, and review your privacy settings often.

  • Limit the Information You Share on Social Platforms
    Even if the privacy settings on your accounts are enabled, try to limit what you share online. For instance, sharing your location when on vacation could leave you vulnerable to burglary. And sharing details about your job publicly could leave you vulnerable to a spear-phishing attack.

Stay Safe on Dating Website and Apps

While plenty of successful relationships begin online, not everyone using online dating is looking for love. Cyber criminals also use online dating sites, apps, and chat rooms to gain your trust and trick you into sending them money. Here are some tips to help you keep your heart and your money safe:

  • Be wary of requests for money. Don’t send money or give your financial information to anyone — especially someone you haven’t met in person
  • Be cautious when sharing personal information or pictures with prospective admirers, especially if you have never met them before. Criminals are known to blackmail their victims using compromising material
  • Beware if the prospective partner seems ‘too perfect’, if they express strong emotions within a short period of time or if they ask you to leave the dating site to go “offline” too quickly. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Do an image search of your admirer to find out if they really are who they say they are. Does their name match their picture when you do the search? If not, that could be a sign of deception.

Protect Your Heart and Your Wallet

Stay Safe This Tax Season

Tax scammers leverage every means at their disposal to separate you from your cash – notices and offers in your inbox, on websites, over the phone or in a text message. They may offer “tax services” that will steal your identity and your tax refund, lure you with offers of bigger write-offs, mock up websites and tax forms that look like the site or forms to fool you into giving criminals your personal or financial information.

There is more at risk than your money and identity. Here are some helpful tips on how to stay safe this tax season:

  • Don't open files, click links, or call numbers in unsolicited emails, text messages, IMs, Facebook postings, tweets, etc. especially if you weren’t expecting them.
  • Beware of impersonators. Many Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonators use scare tactics to intimidate people into complying with their requests, like threatening to arrest or deport the potential victim.
  • Before sharing any information, take the time to verify the identity of the person asking you for information, money, or access to your accounts, to ensure they are who they claim to be.
  • If you can't verify something is legitimate, ignore, delete it, or contact the person/organization who supposedly sent it to validate that the message really is from them.
  • Never - ever - ever - reveal your password, PINs or any personal or financial information to ANYONE!!

Protect Your Identity and Your Refund

Need to Report Online Fraud?

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Call Us

If you believe your confidential information may have been stolen or obtained by a fraudulent party either online, by telephone or through any other means, call us immediately.

If you believe your confidential information may have been stolen or obtained by a fraudulent party either online, by telephone or through any other means, call us immediately.

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Report ID Fraud

If you think you are a victim of identity fraud and you are an RBC client

If you think you are a victim of identity fraud and you are an RBC client

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Email/Website Fraud

If you have received a suspicious email or accessed a fraudulent RBC website

If you have received a suspicious email or accessed a fraudulent RBC website

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