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Safeguarding your computer

Ensure your computer is virus free

Anti-virus Scanning

Avoid infection from malware like viruses, worms, Trojans, and adware.

  • Setup anti-virus software to automatically scan your computer in real-time or at least once a week.
  • Enable real-time email scanning through your anti-virus program.
  • Scan every file you download through the Internet or via email.

Keep your networks secure

Securing your Home Network

Stay safe while you're surfing at home.

  • Use a personal firewall to protect your network at home. You can use a software or hardware-based firewall.
  • If you use a router, be sure to change the default password.
  • If you use a wireless router, encrypt your connection with a password.
  • If you use a Cable or DSL connection, disable file sharing in Windows products.

Using Firewalls

A firewall is a program or device that inspects the information passing between your computer and its network connection. They block malware from gaining access to your computer. Firewalls also prevent the spread of malicious software from your computer to your network.

>Personal Firewalls photo of a firewall

Personal firewalls are programs that protect your computer from online intrusions over a network connection (e.g., wireless, Ethernet). When suspicious network activity is detected, the firewall blocks it and alerts you.

Windows:
Windows XP SP3 and all windows operating systems created after it (including Windows Vista and Windows 7) have a built-in firewall. For more information, visit: http://www.microsoft.com

There are several third-party firewall applications available as well, including:*
Zonealarm
Norton Internet Security
Lavasoft Personal Firewall

Mac OS X:
All Macintosh computers running Apple's OS X operating system come with a built-in firewall. Please see http://www.apple.com for more information.

Hardware Firewalls

If you're connected to a wireless or Ethernet router, your computer exists on a private network that has been created by your router. Therefore, your computer is not directly accessible to the outside world. Your router is your firewall and all access to your computer is granted through it.

* Downloading and use of the software is governed by the terms of the license agreement, if any, which accompanies or is provided with the software. Bank of Montreal makes no representation or warranty respecting the software and is not responsible for any difficulties, consequences, costs, claims, damages or losses arising in any way whatsoever out of the downloading or use of the software.

Protecting your Operating System

Keep your operating system safe by updating it with security patches on a regular basis. Avoid losing any essential information if you encounter a problem, by backing-up your data regularly.

Permanently Deleting Files

When you delete a file on your computer, it is not gone forever. The information still exists on your hard drive until it is overwritten by new data. Identity thieves can retrieve personal information from your hard drive after you sell or donate your computer. A proper electronic file disposal procedure will make the information unrecoverable.

Here are some tools you can use to dispose digital information permanently:*

* Downloading and use of any software is governed by the terms of the license agreement, if any, which is provided with the software. Bank of Montreal makes no representation or warranty respecting the software and is not responsible for any difficulties, consequences, costs, claims, damages or losses arising in any way whatsoever out of the downloading or use of the software.

Bank smart while on the move

The Internet is everywhere and more and more people are using wireless connections and mobile devices to access it. Here are a few things to consider when you're connecting on-the-go.

Wireless Networks

To secure your wireless network

  • Turn on wireless encryption immediately after installing a wireless device. Older routers only provide WEP encryption. If available, use WPA or WPA2 encryption for your home network.
  • Change the SSID on your router from the default name to prevent easy access to your network.
  • Disable SSID broadcast.
  • Disable SNMP protocol, unless you need it.
  • Your router likely has a built-in firewall. Make sure it is on and configure it properly.

Bluetooth Networks

Here are some helpful ways you can keep your information secure when using Bluetooth.

  • Turn off Bluetooth function when not in use.
  • Use a strong PIN code.
  • Avoid storing sensitive data on your Bluetooth-enabled device.
  • Keep your device(s) updated with the latest software.

BMO Financial Group is providing you with the information contained on these Security pages for your personal use only on the understanding that you agree that BMO Financial Group has no liability to you for providing you with this information, whether or not you rely on it. BMO Financial Group does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information. Links from this Website to other Websites, or references to products, services or publications other than those of BMO Financial Group, do not imply the endorsement or approval of such Websites, products, services or publications by BMO Financial Group.

Learn more about protecting yourself online
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you 100% for any losses to your Personal Banking accounts resulting from unauthorized transactions through Online and Mobile Banking.
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