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Take 6 Seconds to Protect Yourself Online

By Diane Amato

Published October 18, 2022 • 2 Min Read

Your inner voice is powerful. It reflects your instincts, can raise alarms and help guide the decisions you make. It’s worth listening to — even for just 6 seconds.

The RBC 6 second rule involves pausing for 6 seconds and listening to your inner voice when something looks or feels off. Using the 6 second rule can help protect you in the digital world in a variety of situations.

Watch these brief videos that show you the impact of using the 6 second rule to ask yourself a simple question before acting.

Take 6 seconds and ask yourself …

1. Does this sound like them?

If you get a weird link from someone you follow — and the post doesn’t quite sound like them — don’t click it. Their account could be compromised.

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2. Is this email coming from the actual company?

Fake emails that look real? It’s a thing. If you get an email with great deals from a favourite brand – but something seems off — delete the email and look for the same deals directly through their website.

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3. Do I know where this QR code will take me?

Before you scan a QR code, asking yourself who created it and where it might take you can keep you from scanning a scam. If you can’t tell if it’s legit, search the business name for more info instead.

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4. How is this app free?

Signing up to use a fun new app? Remember, nothing is free in life. You’re paying for it with valuable information about yourself. Avoid sharing data unless you absolutely have to.

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Taking 6 seconds to ask yourself any of the questions above can help protect yourself, your home and the people you care about. Looking for more cyber tips? Check out The Vault — A Cyber Safety Playbook.

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.

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