Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

By Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

April 17, 2015

Financial Security

Learn How to Properly Use Online Services

Article revised on 16 June 2017

It’s 10 p.m. and you finally have some “me time.” Thanks to the Internet, you now have access to a host of online services from the comfort of your home. Accessing these services can be very helpful to you, but make sure you deal with credible sources and properly manage the sites you visit!

Whether you’re shopping for auto insurance, calculating monthly mortgage loan instalments, assessing your life insurance needs, looking up current interest rates, banking, printing healthcare statements for your taxes, declaring a car accident with your insurer or consulting your insurance contracts, your computer is a gateway to a world of online services.

In fact, many financial institutions have gone digital and now offer you the option of creating a client account to access a secure personalized space on their website so you can tap into certain functions and specific services.

Benefits of secure client spaces

These secure spaces offer many advantages.

  • They’re open 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • Electronic communications and information stored online help reduce the amount of paperwork you have to manage.
  • They can be a one-stop-shop for accessing information on a particular subject (for example,  all your insurance contracts).

What you can do on secure online spaces

  • Get access to exclusive functions or content
  • Track history or monitor the status of a claim
  • Collect reward points
  • Look up information in your file
  • Make bank transactions 

Types of client spaces

There are several categories of secure online spaces, namely:

1- Transactional

Your online space becomes a place to make purchases or bank transactions (pay bills, transfer money to someone, manage a savings account, etc.)

2- Informational

Your online space where all the information on a particular subject is saved. For example, your insurer’s client space contains all your insurance contracts.

Identifying secure client spaces

  • Choose providers who are reliable and recognized.
    You may still have to deal with new providers, however. In that event:
  • Look for https:// in your browser’s address bar.
    The “s” at the end of the “http” means the site is secure because the provider had to obtain an SSL certificate.
  • Locate the yellow lock icon.
    Depending on your browser, it could appear to the right of the address bar or at the bottom right of your screen.
  • Pay attention to the colour.
    To help determine whether you’re visiting a trusted site, browsers use a colour code. Once you enter the purchasing stage, a green bar with the lock icon will be displayed, guaranteeing that the site is secure.
  • You should also know how to decipher the address displayed on your browser. It should match the name of the institution with which you are about to do business with.

The art of creating your account

To have access to these services, you must create an account on the service provider’s site. Sometimes, you will be provided with a temporary password that you will have to change later. Other times, you can choose your own password as soon as you register.

At all times:

  • Avoid using addresses, anniversary dates and pet names as a password. This information is easy to obtain and makes you vulnerable to identity theft or having your accounts hacked.
  • Use several passwords
  • Change your passwords regularly.

When you have many passwords and it becomes difficult to remember them all, you can use a software to store (Password safe, KeePass) all your user names and passwords in one place on your computer. You would then need to remember just one password.

Need more information?
Contact one of our financial security advisor!

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