Internet Safety Tips

Is Commerce on the Internet Safe?

  • Providing that some common sense is used, Canadians should feel safe conducting their business on the Internet.
  • Know with whom you are dealing.
  • Ensure that your Internet Browser goes to a secure mode (watch for url to be https:// or lock to show in bottom right of screen).
  • Never respond to unsolicited requests.

Securing Your Home Computer

  • All Canadians connecting to the Internet should ensure that they have installed an up-to-date virus protection program. These should download virus definitions on a regular basis.
  • Software or hardware firewalls should also be a part of your security package.
  • Never open E-mail attachments unless it is something that you have asked for or are expecting.
  • Installing an inexpensive router between your cable or DSL modem will offer some added protection.
  • No one should be asking you to provide personal information in an e-mail.

Beware of Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

  • The Internet has become an inexpensive way for organized groups to attempt to defraud Canadians. Do not respond to messages looking for help to get monies out of other countries or informing you that you are part of an inheritance.
  • If you have goods, services or property advertised for sale on the Internet, be suspicious of offers to purchase when you receive a cheque in payment for goods. Many cheques have been reported stolen and altered to attempt to defraud.

Child Safety on the Internet

  • Parents should know where their children are going and what they do while on the Internet.
  • Instant messenger services can be safe and a means of communication for children but the rules we have been telling our children for years still need to be followed.
  • Never talk to strangers.
  • Never accept gifts from someone you do not know.
  • Tell your parents if anyone approaches you on-line and wants your real information or does anything to disturb you.
  • NEVER provide real information to anyone on the Internet.
  • If you have profiles or web pages, be sure that the information does not identify who you are.

What is Phishing?

  • “Phishing” or “brand spoofing” is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be a legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into disclosing private information.
  • Government, financial institutions and online auctions/pay services are common targets of brand spoofing.
  • The goal of criminals using phishing is to lead consumers to believe that a request for information is coming from a legitimate company. In reality, it is a malicious attempt to collect customer information for the purpose of committing fraud.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

  • Do not reply to any email that requests your personal information.
  • If you receive a request, contact the financial institution immediately and report your suspicions.
  • Financial Institutions will not send you an email with a link for you to come back and update or confirm you personal data.
  • Routinely review your financial statements for any signs of fraudulent charges.
  • For more information visit the following web sites:,


  • Unless you are dealing with a company you know and trust, a good habit is to never provide real information for “free” services on the Internet.
  • Always ask “Why do they need this information.”

Internet Security
Internet Safety – Government of Canada Site