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​Protect Your Information Online

How you can protect yourself

Cybercrime is on the rise and phishing scams are common forms of identity theft. Criminals try to gain illegal access to your private information and accounts by disguising themselves online using a similar domain or website URL to a legitimate company or organization.

While we take many precautions to protect your online accounts, there are a number of actions you can take to protect yourself while using the internet and banking online. If you suspect any loss, theft or unauthorized use of your account, contact us immediately to report the fraud.

Protecting yourself online

Be cautious with your information online

  • Do not send personal information by email or instant messages. Once sent or shared, the information is no longer under your control and could be intercepted and stolen.
  • Strictly limit any personal information you post on the web and restrict who can access it. Consider deleting old posts that include personal information.
  • Unless you personally know and trust the sender, do not open files, download programs or click links in emails or instant messaging. Phishing scams often use these “click bait” techniques to steal and abuse identities and may even gain remote control of your computer.

Be smart about your passwords and your Personal Access Code (PAC)

  • Use strong passphrases that are difficult to guess and include combinations of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Ensure your passwords are always unique and never reused on different sites or accounts. You may need to select a trustworthy password database to keep them secure.
  • Keep your PAC confidential and do not share it with anyone.
  • Never disclose your PAC in a voicemail or email, and do not disclose it over the phone.
  • Ensure no one observes you typing in your PAC.

Be aware of phishing attempts

Phishing scams are common forms of identity theft when criminals try to gain access to your private and personal information by disguising themselves as a legitimate company you may trust – like a financial institution.

Phony email, text messages and websites often include official-looking logos and identifying information fraudsters have taken directly from legitimate websites. These copycat sites, also called "spoofed" websites, are often where people will unwittingly send personal information to fraudsters.

Protect yourself from fraudulent websites. Don’t use search engines to find website – always type in or book mark website addresses, to ensure you are connected to the legitimate site.

How to detect fraud

Check your account and credit card statements regularly

Protect yourself by regularly checking your credit score to make sure there are no unusual transactions or credit activity reported in your name (Equifax or TransUnion).

Protect your PIN

Your debit card and PIN are the keys to your account(s). They are both required to complete a transaction so you should keep them in a safe place and never lend them to anyone. Even if criminals get access to your card, they need the PIN to get access to your money – so remember to protect your PIN.

*Please note: All fraud related reports connected to a financial loss will be thoroughly investigated by FirstOntario Credit Union. Any confirmed failure to protect your password or PAC/PIN information will result in non-reimbursement of funds.

Interac Protect your PIN

Get notified of activity on your account

We strongly recommend enabling alerts on your online accounts as an effective safeguard to improve your security and provide added peace of mind.

You have the option to receive notifications by email and/or text message for the following:

  • When a new payee is added
  • When your Personal Access Code (PAC) has been changed
  • When you've been locked out of online account services

Simply go into your online account services to set up these helpful alerts.

Report fraud

Contact FirstOntario Credit Union immediately if you suspect someone has gained knowledge of your password (PAC)/PIN, or if you suspect any loss, theft or unauthorized use of your account.


Useful links

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre ❐

Learn about past and current scams affecting Canadians.

Scams by medium (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) ❐

Browse scams by delivery method.

Scams affecting individuals (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) ❐

Learn about scams targeting individuals.

Scams affecting businesses (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) ❐

Learn about scams targeting businesses.

Slam the scam – Protect yourself against fraud (Canadian Revenue Agency) ❐

Find information about scam prevention and the CRA.

Government of Canada - Get Cyber Safe ❐

Learn more about staying safe online.