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Security: Be smart, be safe!

As technology evolves, criminals are getting more creative in finding ways to commit fraud and identity theft. But that doesn’t mean you have to become a victim! By being aware of the risks and taking steps to secure your personal information you can protect yourself.

Protect your Identity.

Identity theft is when your personal information (such as your name, address, driver's license number, date of birth, Social Insurance number, Provincial health card, account information or employment information) is stolen and used by someone else. This kind of illegal activity usually has financial implications as thieves use your details to open accounts, shop with your credit cards or ABM cards, take out loans and even mortgages – often before you even know your identity has been stolen or your information compromised.

Help keep your information safe from fraudsters:

Protect Your PIN!

Whether you’re using your ABM or credit card at an ABM machine or retail location, always be sure to protect your PIN. Even with the added security of chip technology, someone could look over your shoulder and steal your PIN. Be aware of who is standing around you and make sure you block the keypad with your hand or body.

Be wary of white machines (no name ABM machines) and any card readers at retail locations. If you’re not convinced the machine is secure or you don’t know the store that you’re shopping in well, do not use your credit card or ABM card.

Keep Your Computer Secure

Online shopping, bill payments and other financial transactions are more and more commonly being done online. While financial institutions and most reputable retailers do everything they can to secure their sites to ensure your financial information is kept safe, it still pays to be careful when using a computer for these activities.

When using your personal or any public computer:

Beware of Phishing and Pharming

If you have ever been emailed by a company (including financial institutions and brokerage firms) asking for personal and/or financial information, that email is likely a phishing or pharming scam.

“Phishing” emails attempt to trick you into giving out confidential information by appearing to be from a legitimate, trusted source such as a financial institution. With this information, fraudsters can access your online accounts to withdraw money, make purchases, open accounts and even take out loans or mortgages in your name.

“Pharming” occurs when you type in a web address that re-directs you to a fraudulent website without your knowledge or consent. The website will look like a legitimate site in hopes of fooling you into revealing confidential information. They often use logos of reputable companies without permission and frequently request “urgent” or “immediate action” to provide, update or verify your personal information.

Be wary of e-mails that ask for personal information. Never under any circumstance provide passwords, user names, PINs, account information or login information for any account in your name.

Our Promise to You

We take our part in the information security process very seriously. RMG Mortgages will never, under any circumstance, send any e-mail that:

RMG Mortgages will only ever email you if you have personally requested that we provide information to you via email or to share new product information. Should you decide you do not want email from us, simply contact us and we will remove your address from our list.

Using Online Passwords

Your passwords are an incredibly important tool in maintaining the security of your personal and financial information. Anytime you are setting up a new login or online account, be sure to use a strong password that is difficult to guess. A strong password has at least eight characters and is made up of letters and numbers. Change your passwords on a regular basis and never use birth dates, names of children or pets, or any other alpha or numeric combinations that would be easy for someone to guess.

Other Computer Security Tips

Be Smart!

Everyone is at risk of being targeted by fraud. Clever telephone, Internet and email fraudsters posing as representatives from legitimate organizations often make attractive offers to save you money, offer great services or prizes. Being certain you are dealing with a legitimate representative from a legitimate organization is a key factor in protecting yourself.

And remember, if something seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Never provide any personal or account information over the phone until you have confirmed that the person you are speaking with is from a legitimate organization. When you receive a phone solicitation, call the organization back using a number you know to be legitimate.

Only subscribe to Internet-based newsletters from organizations you trust. You can check the third party site certificate to verify authenticity of the website.

Trusted Third Parties

A Trusted Third Party (TTP) is an entity that facilitates interactions between two parties who both trust the third party; The Third Party reviews all critical communications between the parties, based on the ease of creating fraudulent content. For example, a certificate authority (CA) would issue a digital identity certificate to one of the two parties, becoming the Trusted Third Party that certifies authenticity.

Do your Homework

If you see an advertisement for a loan or mortgage in a local newspaper from a company you don’t recognize and the rate looks too good to be true, you can check them out through the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus.