October 3, 2017 by Canadian Underwriter
Aviva Canada is marking the beginning of Cyber Security Awareness Month (October) with the announcement that it is introducing enhancements to its identity theft coverage at no additional cost to existing customers.
Aviva Canada reports that online security breaches and identity theft are on the rise, pointing out that Canadians lost $40 million as a result of online scams last year.
“Millennials and Generation Z, in particular, have become natural targets because of their strong presence on social media,” notes a company statement, but others could certainly be at risk and would benefit from learning how best to protect themselves.
Theft tactics vary widely, the statement notes, and include things such as online scams and “skimming,” namely when thieves install a fake credit card reader to steal numbers and record PINs with small cameras.
Over the three-year period from Jan. 2014 to Dec. 2016, “Canadians lost more than $290 million to identity theft fraud and online scams,” Phil Gibson, chief underwriting officer for Aviva Canada, notes in the statement.
“We want to empower people to protect themselves online and in daily interactions where they might be vulnerable,” Gibson continues.
Related: Imposter Protection
Common scams involving identity theft – when personal information is used without the individual’s knowledge or consent – include creating false lines of credit and making purchases using a stolen bank account or credit card.
Citing information from the Ontario Securities Commission, a person’s identity is a risk when:
As for the federal government, it recommends that Cyber Security Awareness Month be used as a time to review online safety practices.
“You can do your part to make cyber space safer by taking the following simple steps,” notes tips from Public Safety Canada.
These steps including protecting one’s identity, turning on the firewall, using anti-virus software, installing anti-spyware software, updating operating systems, backing up files, protecting one’s wireless network, deleting emails from unknown senders, surfing the Web safely and getting expert help.