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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Scammers More Sophisticated, Warns Competition Bureau

phishing emailThe Competition Bureau reports that phishing is one of the growing scamming techniques, and users of social networking sites are especially vulnerable. Almost 95 per cent of fraud-related crimes in Canada go unreported, according to an estimate by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. One glaring reason for this is because people are usually too embarrassed to admit that they fell for a fraud scam, especially one that happened on a social networking site.

A phishing scam is a phony email or pop-up message used to lure unsuspecting Internet users into divulging personal information, such as credit card numbers and account passwords, that will later be used by hackers for identity theft. A phisher’s email can be very persuasive and believable if he or she is impersonating a well-known organization or individual.

Keep employees safe from phishing scams by teaching them to:

  • Be extremely wary of urgent email requests for any personal or financial information (their information or a client’s).
  • Call the company or individual in question with the number listed on the corporate website or in the phone book. Avoid using phone numbers provided in the email, as they could be phony too.
  • Do not use the links included in the email unless you are certain that the email is legitimate.
  • Do not divulge personal or financial information on the Internet unless the site is secure (sites that start with “https”).
  • Never disable anti-virus software.

The only way that the authorities can keep tabs on new scams that pop up is if individuals report crimes when they happen. When these crimes go unreported, the public can’t be alerted to watch out for scams, which can in turn affect many more people.

A computer intrusion could cripple your company, costing you thousands or millions of dollars in lost sales and/or damages. Make sure your employees are alerting you when they encounter suspicious emails or websites.



© 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Facebook Bullying Grounds for Dismissal

BullyingA postal clerk in Canada was dismissed from her job in May after her employer discovered Facebook posts she had written that were described as contemptuous, undermining managerial authority, and so harmful to her managers that they needed to take time off work to seek medical care and ease their emotional distress.

The employee stated that she had believed her posts were private and that her toxic work environment was the reason she needed to vent on Facebook. The arbitrator of the case ruled that due to the content of the posts and the effect they had on her managers, the termination of the employee was justified.

This case brought to life an interesting dynamic of the modern workplace: Because of social media, workplace relationships, and sometimes workplace bullying, don’t solely occur at work anymore. After work, employees can still log on to social media sites and harass co-workers or managers, or post hostile things about them.

At a minimum, workplace bullying affects safety, productivity, trust and the workplace culture. Being bullied not only puts a huge emotional strain on someone, but in turn could put a financial strain on the company due to unhappy or less-productive employees.

There has been an increase in court cases pertaining to social media and its influence on the workplace, and the number is projected to get higher. This case demonstrates how an employee can be justly terminated for posting offensive content—more serious than just a normal negative critique—about his or her company, manager or co-workers on social media sites.



© 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.


Simple Steps to Cyber Security

Security concept: data security on digital backgroundRecent Internet bugs and vulnerabilities have had a widespread impact, compromising the security of computers as well as personal information you may enter online.

Although you can’t stop criminals from attempting a cyber attack, you can take several steps to reduce your risk of having your personal information stolen, misused or deleted. Start by using strong passwords, avoiding malware and viruses, and protecting yourself against scams and security breaches.

Password security

  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts, especially important accounts such as online banking or an online store with your credit card on file.
  • Passwords should not be a word found in the dictionary or a combination easily guessed by a friend; be creative and mix up letters, numbers and symbols to make a strong password.
  • Passwords should be periodically changed, especially in the wake of the Heartbleed bug that left much encrypted information vulnerable to exploitation.


  • Don’t click on links or download attachments in unsolicited emails.
  • Don’t download anything from sites you don’t trust.
  • Don’t enter personal information on a website if you clicked on a link; instead, type the URL into the address bar to make sure you go to the site you want.
  • Scan all external devices, such as USB flash drives, for viruses and malicious software (malware) before using.
  • Install antivirus security software.

Scams and other security breaches

  • Never email personal information on an unsecured Wi-Fi network; the network can be hacked and the information accessed by unauthorized users.
  • Don’t disclose private information unless necessary, and always verify the source if asked to input sensitive information into a website or email.
  • Before entering credit card numbers or other payment information when shopping online, double-check that you’re on the website you think you are and check the URL for “https,” which is a general indication that the page is encrypted for your security. Some browsers also display a “lock” icon to indicate that a website is secure.


© 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.




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