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What can you accomplish in 6 seconds? Plenty. In 6 seconds, you can ask yourself some key questions that can help protect your personal information, your money and your identity. See how the “6 second rule" can help create a lifetime of cyber safety.

This article originally appeared on Discover & Learn on October 18, 2022.

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 or store – 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 cannot 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.