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RBC’s top online security expert available for comment


Canadians need to be vigilant in protecting themselves against fraud and according to one of RBC’s top experts, the best way continues to be through education and knowledge.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and to help raise awareness about the dangers of online threats, RBC’s Jim O’Donnell, senior vice-president and chief information security officer is available for media commentary regarding topics related to online security.

Here are 10 practical and useful tips from RBC experts that will protect you against computer fraud:

1. Protect your personal information. Be aware of current online ploys that try to get you to provide personal and/or financial information. Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails or phone calls that ask for confidential information.

2. Don’t Open Suspect E-mails. If you don’t know the source of an e-mail or if it looks suspicious, do not open it. Never click on a link or attachment in an e-mail that you suspect may be fake. See RBC’s Phishing Resource Centre for more details.

3. Remember to log off. Ensure that you always properly log off and close your browser. This will prevent others from being able to view this information later.

4. Safeguard your PINs and passwords. Never share your passwords and use ones that are difficult to guess, preferably ones that include a mix of letters and numbers. Change your passwords frequently.

5. Be wary of pop-up windows. Especially those that request financial or identification information. Avoid clicking any “action” buttons within a suspect pop-up window.

6. Keep your computer healthy. It is very important to check the websites of your operating system and web browser vendors for software “patches” and updates in order to protect against software vulnerabilities.

7. Use antivirus software. Antivirus software can protect you from potentially damaging viruses that can enter your computer without your knowledge. You should always use up-to-date antivirus software and one that is capable of scanning files and e-mail messages for viruses.

8. Use personal firewalls. A firewall creates a barrier between your computer and the rest of the Internet. It can help to protect against malicious attacks and block certain types of data from entering your computer.

9. Use anti-spyware. Anti-spyware will help to protect your computer against unwanted software from being installed without your knowledge. Anti-spyware also helps protect against slow performance.

10. Use anti-spam software. Spam is a growing source of computer viruses. Use up-to-date anti-spam software along with your antivirus software. If you receive spam, remember this: don’t try, don’t buy and don’t reply. Just delete it.

RBC is continually educating clients through its public and online banking sites at, and, and its Financial Fraud brochure located in branches across the country.


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