Consumers, more than ever, need to ensure they take care of their own online security measures.

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In an interesting article on CBC News last week it turns out that although many of us believe we are protected against fraud when we use our credit card and online banking websites, fine print in the online electronic banking agreements for the big six institutions in Canada suggests that the consumer holds a lot more responsibility and liability than previously thought.

According to the CBC article, “A survey of the electronic banking agreements for the big six institutions reveals a variety of conditions imposed on clients.  They include requirements such as having the latest anti-virus software on any computer used for banking, and not using a PIN, password or security question that’s too easy to guess.”

Digging deeper, typical terms and conditions of several of the banking websites have wording such as:

“You agree to implement and maintain reasonable security measure which include up-to-date virus scanning software and a firewall system, if such security measure are available for your Electronic Access Device.” (Part B, Section 15 – Security)

“In addition, in no event, even if we are negligent, will we be liable for any loss or damage suffered by you that is caused by:” “your failure to fulfill any of your obligations under this Agreement including those in Part B, Section 15 (Security) or to comply with any instructions we may provide to you from time to time in connection with the Services.”

With online banking becoming far more prevalent, and online fraud increasing exponentially, how do you keep up with responsibilities of ensuring their web-devices have the most up-to-date anti-malware and firewall protection?  For the most part, in order to fulfill “responsible security measures” as mandated by the banks, you would have to be constantly on top of managing security for every one of your web-connected devices.  More than ever, you need services that you can enable to provide easy-to-use blanket protection.  With all of your devices at home connected through your service provider you should look to them to help keep your security measures up to date.   This is the future.  Let your ISP protect you from the liabilities and costs of online fraud.

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