OTTAWA – October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reminding consumers that safeguarding your identity can help prevent insurance fraud.
“If your personal information is stolen, criminals can use it in elaborate schemes, including insurance fraud,” says Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs (IBC). “Hackers and criminals can use the internet to access your bank accounts, secure new credit cards, make purchases and pursue other criminal activities. Follow IBC’s cyber safety tips to help keep you and your family safe from online crime.”
IBC’s top 10 cyber safety tips:
1. Don’t share your personal information online.
Never give personal information over e-mail or phone to someone who has contacted you to ask for it, without authenticating their identity.
2. Guard your financial information.
If you shop, do insurance transactions or banking online, make sure you aren’t saving personal financial information, such as credit card numbers, that someone could easily take.
3. Change your login and your passwords regularly.
Make your passwords hard to decipher by using numbers and characters in addition to letters.
4. Before opening a website or email, ensure the URL is trustworthy.
Criminals often use phishing, which uses an official-looking email to direct you to a website that looks legitimate, to steal personal information.
5. Install and regularly update security software.
6. Check financial statements regularly and look for any unusual activity.
7. Be social media savvy.
Set your social media profiles to the private setting and be careful what you post online.
8. Make sure your home Wi-Fi network is protected.
When using public “hot spots,” recognize that the data you share is vulnerable and do not conduct financial transactions, such as obtaining automobile or home insurance, on these networks.
9. Only download programs from reputable websites.
10. Take the time to report the crime; call 1-877-IBC-TIPS.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion. – CNW