Fraud and Scams
Fraud and Scams


Closeup of adult using laptop at home

What is Malware?

Malware is malicious software that is transmitted through the internet and can be installed on your phone or computer when you download certain apps or files, or if you visit certain websites. It lets criminals access your devices to disrupt operations or to change or steal data.

Malware programs can be difficult to detect, as they generally don’t appear in the list of installed programs.

How to protect yourself

  • Beware of email, text or Facebook messages containing shortened links or other attachments.
  • Select apps that let you opt out of information sharing.
  • Before downloading an app, do some research and see if it has been reviewed by a reputable source. Avoid the latest trend until it has been out long enough to earn the trust of reputable reviewers.
  • Consider installing security software to help protect your privacy online.

    • Anti-virus software can detect and delete virus files before they attack your device
    • Anti-spyware software can prevent harmful spyware and adware files from being installed on your device. Spyware and adware allow fraudsters to monitor your web browsing patterns, track your keystrokes and inundate you with annoying (and sometimes harmful) pop-up ads
    • A personal firewall can monitor both incoming and outgoing internet traffic from your device. These firewalls protect you from being hacked and having viruses/spyware installed without your knowledge. Most firewall programs also block unauthorized access to the internet from your device
  • For further information, please visit the Government of Canada’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security: