Tips on protecting yourself.
Internet Security: Protecting Your Personal Information
Belair Insurance Company Inc. (hereinafter called “belairdirect”) abides by the highest security standards, whether they are national or international. We are fully committed to protecting the personal information you have entrusted to us. As part of this commitment we have created this simple guide detailing ways to do business online safely and securely. Please take the time to read it to ensure the security of your personal information.
belairdirect protects personal information by means of physical, organisational and technological measures according to sensitivity level. The use of restricted access zones, passwords and security encryption are procedures designed to ensure data security and proper use of information collected.
Any information provided on the belairdirect site is encrypted to ensure security and confidentiality. belairdirect servers use a high-performance encryption system called Secure Socket Layers (SSL) to encrypt personal information. This system, which allows for more than a billion combinations, prevents confidential information from being intercepted or pirated. In addition, only authorised personnel have access to personal information.
Each year, belairdirect is certified by VeriSign, a worldwide leader of Internet security encryption services, which authenticates our server and guarantees that transactions carried out on the belairdirect site are secure.
Protect yourself online
Be aware of offers on the Internet that promise to improve your PC's Internet speed, or ask you to download software onto your PC to participate in research. To protect your privacy and security, we recommend that you do not install or download these types of applications. Downloading this type of software may enable hackers to monitor your activities and capture personal and/or sensitive information and in some cases, to intercept all data you enter on your computer and any web site, even if that site is protected. This includes your belairdirect Client Account and password. If you already have this installed on your system, you should remove this software in order to avoid the possibility of such monitoring.
Take care of your computer. Keep your computer up-to-date by installing and using the latest official patches, virus and spyware protection tools, and software from known and trusted suppliers.
Always use a web browser that supports at least 128-bit encryption when accessing secure websites. Most browsers now come with this level of protection, which is best for transmitting confidential data over the Internet. You can check to see if your browser supports 128-bit encryption. If in doubt, we recommend you upgrade your browser. While encryption offers a high level of security, it cannot guarantee that security breaches will not occur. Most are caused by (i) users choosing passwords easily discovered by third parties; (ii) someone stealing a password that has been written down; or (iii) someone watching the user type in their password. Your password should be changed on a regular basis to reduce the likelihood of such security breaches.
belairdirect’s standard practices for customer contact and information gathering
Personal information is collected, used and disclosed in accordance with our Privacy Promise.
If clients have doubts about any e-mail they have received purporting to be from belairdirect they should contact belairdirect Customer Service.
In case of suspected identity theft, loss or misuse of credentials for online finance services, please contact belairdirect at 1.888.896.0632 1.877.220.6068 1.855.296.2525 1.877.220.6069, as soon as possible in order to avoid and/or minimize the impacts caused by this.
Common Attacks: Phishing, Spoofing, Advanced Fee Fraud & Identity Theft
Phishing is an online fraud technique involving official-looking e-mail messages sent with return addresses, links and branding that all appear to come from legitimate banks, retailers, credit card companies, etc. Such e-mails typically contain a hyperlink to a fake website misleading account holders into entering their names and security details on the pretence that security details must be updated or changed. Once you give them your information it can be used on legitimate sites to take your money.
It is important that you be suspicious of e-mails asking for your information; see more on belairdirect’s standard e-mail practices below.
Imitation of belairdirect websites (Spoofing)
belairdirect monitors the Internet to find imitation websites also called “spoof websites”, they can be identified by the use of misspelled names, extra letters or symbols in the web address. These “spoof websites” are often the first step made by phishers in order to steal your identity. We then work with the appropriate international authority to get the websites closed down as quickly as possible – sometimes on the same day we find the website.
Advanced Fee Fraud
You may already have heard of ‘advance fee fraud’, where e-mails offering large sums of money are sent to thousands of e-mail addresses. Do not respond to these e-mails. Sometimes the money offered is as a result of a lottery for which you have never bought a ticket. Sometimes the money is held in an account overseas and the fraudster promises a percentage of the money in return for your help in accessing it. A modest ‘fee’ is often required to cover legal fees, open an account or pay customs charges. In all cases, the money promised is never received.
Identity and information theft is a key problem facing consumers and businesses today.
Hackers have always been interested in breaking into computer systems and causing them to crash. But now they are also interested in keeping a system up and running so they can steal information from it or use it as a launch pad for attacks against other computers. If your identity is 'stolen' you may find yourself with a reduced rating or with criminal conviction, from traffic offences in particular. This is may be because the fraudster has taken out loans, credit cards, a duplicate driver’s licence, etc., in your name.
Don't think it's a serious issue? Consider this: in North America an identity is 'stolen' every 12 minutes - don't let it be yours.
Protect yourself from identity theft
- Before you reveal any personal information, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared.
- Don't carry your SIN card with you; leave it in a secure place.
- Guard your mail. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery. Ensure mail is forwarded or re-routed if you move or change your mailing address.
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through e-mail or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know with whom you're dealing.
- Keep items with personal information in a safe place. An identity thief will pick through your garbage or recycling bins. Be sure to tear or shred receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements and credit offers you get in the mail.
We place this warning here because we are aware the criminals carrying out these frauds do on occasion use the name of Intact Financial Corporation or an Intact Financial Corporation subsidiary, such as belairdirect as part of this scam.
Additional Security Tips for Online Browsing
- Don’t allow your computer programs and browsers to save your password(s). For example, when you encounter a pop-up box asking if you would like your password to be remembered, always click “NO”. Saying “OK” gives anybody using your computer access to your personal information.
- Do not send personal information (such as SIN, account numbers, passwords, etc.) through e-mail.
- Keep your passwords/PINs safe. Never share, write down or disclose your Internet banking passwords to another individual, or store them in a file on your computer.
- You should always access the belairdirect website by opening up a browser window and typing in the address directly into the address bar of the browser. Don’t ever access it through a link sent to you. It may take you to a site that looks like belairdirect, but isn’t.
- When accessing any secure page, make sure the padlock icon is showing in the bottom right hand corner of your browser and that HTTPS is displayed in your browser’s address bar.
- Always log off and close your browser once you have completed your banking session. While logged into any online account, do not leave your computer unattended. Although inactivity while logged into your belairdirect account will force your session to time-out, it is advisable to log out when you’re done or if you will be away for any length of time.
- We recommend avoiding the use of public or shared computers for Internet banking. Many are OK if just want to surf, but don’t access sensitive information or use a log in and password. You never know what may have been installed on that "public" PC.
- Remember to always clear your cache after you have logged out of your belairdirect account, especially when you are using a public or shared computer. This removes traces of your session from the computer's memory.
From the "Start" menu, select Control Panel, and then Add or Remove Programs. Locate the software you wish to remove and click 'Remove' button.
To validate your browser's encryption level, select "Help" from the top line of your browser menu. Then select "About Internet Explorer® / Firefox®". A window pops up that lists "cipher strength".
Are Online Financial Services Safe?
You can transact your business online with belairdirect with confidence knowing belairdirect uses the most up-to-date encryption technology available.
All information you share with us is held in the strictest confidence, in compliance with privacy standards followed by all major Canadian financial institutions.
Purchasing insurance over the Internet
belairdirect offers you the possibility of buying an insurance policy online. To enable us to process your application and issue your policy, you must provide, in addition to the usual information (your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address), certain information concerning your vehicle or the payment method selected (credit card or preauthorised withdrawals from your bank account).
We recommend you do not disclose your password and client number to another user. If you are working at a public or shared workstation, we suggest that you empty the cache memory of the computer to prevent others from accessing your personal information.
To increase your computer’s security level you need, you're going to have to download either Microsoft Internet Explorer , Mozilla Firefox or Safari. Once you're there follow the simple prompts provided. If you’re using a dial-up Internet connection, you'll want to turn off your call waiting. This is very important to ensure an uninterrupted download.
Encryption: The key to belairdirect Internet security
Encryption involves converting information into a scrambled code while being transmitted. Encrypted data cannot be read by anybody who intercepts it. When it is received from you, it is decrypted back to plain text. The same is true when information is transmitted to you.
How does encryption work?
Everything that travels through cyberspace during your online session, from your password to your instructions and commands, becomes a string of unrecognisable numbers before it is transmitted via the Internet. Both belairdirect's computers and the browser you use to surf the Web understand the mathematical formulas, called algorithms, that turn your online session into numeric code, and back again to meaningful information.
These algorithms serve as locks on the vaults of your account information. And while belairdirect and your computer can easily translate this code back to a meaningful language, this process would be a daunting, almost impossible task for unauthorised intruders. That's because there are billions of possible keys potentially solving each formula -- but only one that will work. Each time you begin an online session, your computer and belairdirect’s systems agree on a random number to serve as the key for the rest of the conversation. What the random number could be depends largely on the strength of encryption your browser utilises.
What's the difference between domestic-grade encryption and international-grad3 encryption?
The difference between these two types of encryption is one of capability. Domestic-grade encryption is exponentially more powerful than international-grade encryption. Think of it this way: 40-bit encryption, also called international-grade encryption, means there are 240 possible keys that could fit into the lock holding your account information. Meaning there are many billions (a 1 followed by 9 zeroes) of possible keys. 128-bit encryption, also called domestic-grade encryption, means there are 288 (a three followed by 26 zeroes) times as many key combinations than there are for 40-bit encryption. A computer would require exponentially more processing power than for 40-bit encryption to find the correct key.
How do I know if my online session is encrypted?
You know that your data has been encrypted on a given Web page by looking for the following icons in the lower portion of your browser:
NOTE: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox display the icon on the lower right corner of the browser. In addition, Safari displays the icon in the upper left navigation toolbar.
With Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox you can click on the icon to determine what level of encryption is being used for a particular Web page.
We ensure all online sessions with belairdirect are encrypted.
Please note the installation, downloading, or use of certain software may result in the ability of third parties being able to analyse or collect your information by redirecting secure transmissions through their servers. While we will endeavour to protect all information as much as possible by notifying you of such redirection and by blocking access when such software is detected by belairdirect, we cannot guarantee the security and privacy of any information should you decide to use such software, and belairdirect shall not be liable due to its inability or failure to provide notice of redirection of your information, or for its inability or failure to block access when such software is detected. You acknowledge that belairdirect will not be liable for any damages arising from the use of such software irrespective of whether we are aware of such risks.
What type of encryption do I need?
There are currently two levels of encryption available in today's popular web browsers: 40-bit encryption and 128-bit encryption. We recommend that you use a 128- bit browser, because it provides a much higher level of security. We've provided download locations for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. We can also help you determine whether your browser is secure enough for online browsing, and we can help you download a browser with the encryption you need.
Questions, comments or concerns regarding Internet security
If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding Internet security, e-mail us at: email@example.com
For further assistance, you can also write to the organizations responsible for ensuring the protection of personal information in the private sector:
At the provincial level:
Commission d'accès à l'information
575, rue Saint-Amable, bureau 1-10
Insurance Ombudsman's Office
5160 Yonge Street, 4th floor
PO Box 85
North York ON M2N 6L9
At the federal level:
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Ottawa ON K1A 1H3