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Cybercrime is rising in Canada, affecting individuals, families and businesses alike. That’s the bad news. The good news is that being cyber safe doesn’t take a lot of work — instead, it’s a matter of knowing what to do to keep hackers and scammers out of your systems and accounts. Our Cyber Safety 101 series is designed to give you some basic tools and tips that can go a long way to protecting yourself, your family and your data in the digital world.
If you love to travel, chances are you love to take photos of the places you go. And it’s so easy to share your photos with friends and family back home — in seconds, they can see what you’re experiencing and share the moment with you. They may even add your destination to their own future vacation plans if they like what they see.
The thing is, those photos you’re posting also find their way into the hands of thieves and scammers who can see you’re not at home. This puts your your belongings, your home and any family members who haven’t joined you at risk.
Plus, when you post your location with the help of your device’s handy geotagging feature (which adds your GPS-location metadata to any video, photo or other media content you post), a cyber-stalker can use this info to track your movements, your habits and the people in your life. They can, in turn, use these details to target you — after all, the more you reveal about yourself and your lifestyle, the more material they have to work with when planning their identity theft and social engineering scams.
Here are ways to protect yourself from physical and cyber threats:
Avoid posting your location while you’re travelling. If you really want to share a vacation pic, consider doing so once you return home
Disable geotagging so your precise location can’t be tracked
Set your social media accounts to private, allowing only those in your inner circle to see your posts
Reinforce your security questions, avoiding easy-to-guess passwords that anyone might figure out after seeing your posts
Looking for more great tips? Our Cyber Security Playbook, The Vault, is packed with great tips for securing your social media accounts. And it has more helpful steps and information to boost your cyber skills.
“Visit The Vault for more tips on keeping yourself and your data cyber safe.”
Diane Amato is a Toronto-based freelance writer who loves to talk about finances, travel and technology.
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.