Use anti-virus software
When using the Internet, there is always a risk of contracting virus or the possibility of infiltration by intrusion software commonly known as "Trojan Horses". Computer viruses can modify programs, delete files and erase the contents of hard drives. "Trojan Horses" can have similar effects and may be able to capture keystrokes, including passwords or other secret information. Spyware and other deceptive software can also conduct certain activities on your computer without your knowledge or consent.
Phishing and Pharming
“Phishing” is a type of identity theft where criminals use email to try to bait you into fake websites. Once there, you are asked to disclose confidential financial and personal information, like passwords, credit card numbers, access codes or e-Pass values. The most familiar type of phishing scam is an e-mail threatening serious consequences if you do not log in and take action immediately.
"Pharming" is similar to "Phishing", though it often involves the use of malicious code. When you click on a link in a fraudulent email or otherwise visit an infected website, code is uploaded to your computer. You may not have to do anything other than arrive at the site to be infected. These "Trojan Horses" can then allow a hacker to monitor your activity, hijack control of your computer and log into financial and other sites with your credentials, and execute fraudulent transactions. To avoid these infections, be careful about which websites you visit and never click on links in unsolicited emails.
The potential consequences of any of these threats include damage to your computer, compromise of your secret information, fraudulent transactions on your behalf and the inability to use online banking.
For these reasons, we advise our customers to follow these practices:
- Install and frequently update a proven anti-virus product, such as McAfee VirusScan or Norton AntiVirus. Most popular anti-virus products include some spyware scanning capabilities.
- Only accept or download software from a source that you believe to be trustworthy.
- Never accept files or attachments when accessing websites, newsgroups and chat rooms unless you are very sure of their authenticity.
- Ensure you are using a legally licensed operating system.
Also keep your mobile device safe
Download anti-malware protection for your phone, tablet, e-reader or any other device that has mobile access to the Internet. This software should be able to scan the device, identify and remove malware, plus check applications for malware before downloading from application stores.
Beware of everything you download onto your smartphone, especially applications. Only use reputable application markets. Look at the developer's name, check out reviews and star ratings. Always check the permissions an application requests and ensure that the permissions the application requests match the features the application provides.
If your phone is stolen or lost, the first thing you should do is to call the Contact Center at 466-1836 and report the loss.
Beware of 'free' services and software offering faster web surfing and email virus scanning
We strongly advise you to carefully read the terms of any free services you accept or software you download online before you accept them. They are known to sometimes include your consent to having your entire Internet browsing activity, including secure transactions monitored. In consenting to such terms, you may allow the service provider to collect highly confidential User ID information such as your bank account and credit card numbers and passwords.