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How to Keep Your Data Secure When You (and Hackers) Live on Social Media

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How to Keep Your Data Secure When You and Hackers Live on Social Media

Much like how you wouldn’t share your toothbrush with someone else, the same sentiment should be applied to sensitive information like online passwords, personal identification numbers (PIN), or credit card details. And as there are reportedly more than 2.5 billion active users worldwide on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, now more than ever, it’s important to know how to prevent information or identity theft.

January 28 is International Data Privacy Day, and its purpose is to raise awareness regarding the best ways in which businesses and consumers can protect their personal information online.

One of the pitfalls to social networking

Chances are, over the last decade, you’ve all moved over to storing most of your personal information online. From mobile banking services and online shopping carts, to email services to cloud storage, to GPS and location tracking to social media accounts, each time we download a new app or program onto our devices or sign up for a new account, we are both consciously and unconsciously compromising important personal data.

Social media-based information theft and privacy hacks are on the rise with each new account, like, and post. And since it’s so easy – not to mention free – to access almost all social media platforms, it’s also become easier for breaches and scams to occur. Keep reading for tips on how to stay safe and aware while still enjoying social media.

Tip #1: Don’t ignore all those permission pop-ups, privacy settings and terms of service

You’ve made a new Instagram or Twitter account and you’re ready for the followers, likes and retweets to come pouring in. The only thing getting in your way is the seemingly never-ending stream of pop-up boxes asking for access to your microphone, camera, contacts, location, photo library… the list goes on. Of course, you say yes to all, because you just want to quickly get past all the roadblocks so you can interact with your friends. However, this is one way in which hackers mine information about you in order to gain access to your personal information.

Pay close attention to the terms and conditions whenever you make a new account or download a new app or update. Yes, it’s super long and boring, but look out for a few key words like “access”, “permission” and “share” so you have a better understanding of how that site is using your information. While you may be fine sharing your photo library with Instagram, you may want to consider rejecting permission to access your location.

On every app, there are also privacy options you can set so your information is not available to the app. A quick visit to the privacy settings menu can prevent important information such as your phone number, email, location, and contacts from appearing publicly. With recent security breaches like the one on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, be aware of what may happen when you regularly post pictures, names, and your exact location online without limiting who can see this information.

Tip #2: Step up your password game

Surprisingly – or maybe not so surprisingly – “123456” and “password” have topped the most common password list for 2018. The effort we put into creating a secure password reflects the effort hackers will have to put in in order to steal our personal information. When creating a strong password for your accounts, experts advise against these predictable passwords and aiming for a password that is easy to remember, but difficult to guess. Using a combination of upper and lowercase characters, numbers, and punctuation while avoiding phrases or words in the dictionary are also good ways to ensure the security of your account. Using memorable, crazy phrases work as well, like “BBQChipsAreReallyYummy” or “1HamsterCanDrive”.

Tip #3: Use your gut

If you find yourself questioning a link or wondering where an email or message is coming from, chances are you already know something is amiss. Don’t ignore warning signs (pop-ups, numerous links, “act right now” aggressive call-to-actions, unfamiliar senders, etc.) and be wary of clicking on anything or responding with information.

Look out for spelling and format errors in the content suspicious emails. Scammers may try to fool you into thinking they are trustworthy by making slight changes you may overlook (i.e. reply@amazon.ca vs. reply@azamon.ca). If you are still unsure, contact the company directly by phone.

In many cases, hackers attack and steal from online accounts for monetary gain, or in some cases, simply because they can.

Tip #4: Be aware of less obvious scams on social media

“Your bank account has been compromised” 

“Click this link and tag five friends in the comments to gain more followers.”

You’ve likely seen these messages before, and hopefully you’ve ignored them. This practice, also known as “life-jacking” or “life-hacking”, may sound too good to be true and almost always is. Hackers prey on users’ desire to amass a large following on their accounts and drop these traps in order to expand their own network of potential cyber-victims. These links can automatically appear on your news feed, download malware onto your device, or gather financial information during “free trials”.

Regularly changing your passwords, installing anti-virus software, and taking a second look at your privacy settings are small steps you can take now to ensure the security of your social media accounts. Hackers and scammers are smarter than you think though, and they’ll use other various clever methods to trick you out of your information. Feel like you can outsmart them? Take our social media security quiz to test your expertise!

The post How to Keep Your Data Secure When You (and Hackers) Live on Social Media appeared first on MoneyWise.

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Multiple trucking violations by Humboldt semi driver noted in government report Canadian Underwriter

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MELFORT, Sask. – A Saskatchewan government report says the driver of a semi-truck should not have been on the road the day he flew through a stop sign and caused a crash with the Humboldt Broncos team bus.

The report filed during the sentencing hearing for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu notes 51 violations of federal trucking regulations on drivers’ hours and 19 violations of Saskatchewan trip inspection rules.

It includes the 11 days prior to the April 6, 2018, crash at a rural intersection that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

The wreckage of a fatal collision, involving a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, outside of Tisdale, Sask., is seen Saturday, April, 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

“If Jaskirat Singh Sidhu had been stopped and inspected on April 6, 2018, prior to the incident he would have been placed under a 72-hour out-of-service declaration … preventing him from operating a commercial vehicle,” says the report.

The document is signed by two senior Saskatchewan government officials and is included in the RCMP’s forensic collision reconstruction report.

It expresses concerns about the distances Singh was driving as well as the amount of time he took off to rest.

The report notes that if Singh had accurately documented his time at work on April 1 it ‘would have resulted in the driver being in violation of the maximum on-duty time of 14 hours for the day.”

The report says questions remain about what happened the day of the crash.

“We have strong concerns regarding the timelines of Jaskirat Singh Sidhu’s day on April 6, 2018, as there are unanswered questions as a result of the incomplete log on that day,” it says.

“The identified mileage and distances required to travel to the locations identified in the log and known locations also cause concerns.”

Sidhu had been driving for about a month before the crash occurred.

The owner of the Calgary-based trucking company, Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking, faces eight charges relating to non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations in the months before the crash.

They include seven charges under the federal Motor Vehicle Transport Act: two counts of failing to maintain logs for drivers’ hours, three counts of failing to monitor the compliance of a driver under safety regulations, and two counts of having more than one daily log for any day.

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Signs of progress on national flood program for Canada Canadian Underwriter

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Canada is making good progress on a national flood program, pending a final decision by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for emergency management.

“What they are looking at is one national insurance solution to improve outcomes for high-risk Canadians across the country,” Craig Stewart, vice president of federal affairs at Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) told Canadian Underwriter in an interview Tuesday. “There may be regional insurance pools adapted to local conditions, but it would be nationally coordinated.”

FPT ministers responsible for emergency management have mandated IBC to lead a national working group to take a look at options and what they would look like. IBC provided three options:

  • A pure market approach (like in Germany and Australia) where governments exit disaster assistance
  • A broadened version of the status quo, but with better-coordinated insurance and disaster assistance
  • Deployment of a high-risk pool analogous to Flood Re in the United Kingdom.

The next step is for the working group, which Stewart chairs, to cost out the pool. “The pool needs to be capitalized as it was in Flood Re,” Stewart said. “So, we need to figure out where that money is going to come from. Is it going to come from governments? Is it going to come from insurers? Where is it going to come from?”

A final decision will be made by ministers after the high-risk pool is costed, which Stewart expects to be completed by June. Decisions on eligibility, how to capitalize the pool, and on any cross-subsidization await the results of that costing analysis.

In addition, this spring, the ministers will hold a technical summit on flood data and science. “Our view of the risk many not align with the government’s view of the risk,” Stewart said. “We need to bridge the gap. This symposium is going to focus on essentially the data and science of flood modelling.”

In early 2020, there will be the launch of a consumer-facing flood risk portal. IBC has been working with the federal government to develop the authoritative flood portal, where consumers can discover their risks and what to do about them.

“Elevating consumer awareness of flood risk is key,” Stewart said. “Consumers aren’t going to be incented to protect themselves or to buy insurance unless they know their risk.”

In May 2018, FPT ministers responsible for emergency management tasked IBC to lead the development of options to improve financial outcomes of those Canadians at highest risk of flooding. IBC worked with a wide range of insurers, government experts, academics and non-governmental organizations to produce the three options, which were tabled with ministers last week.

The ministers released the first-ever Emergency Management Strategy for Canada: Toward a Resilient 2030 on Jan. 25. The document provides a road map to strengthen Canada’s ability to better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

“In less than two years, Canadian insurers have secured a mandate with every province and territory to finalize development of a national flood insurance solution, have successfully catalyzed a national approach to flood risk information, have secured over two billion dollars in funding for flood mitigation, and have succeeded in securing a funded commitment for a national flood risk portal,” Stewart said.

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Insurers disagree over meaning of ‘household’ in policy language Canadian Underwriter

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A dispute over what exactly constitutes a “household” in a home insurance policy has reached the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Several members of the Weiner family were sued after a person drowned in 2010 in a vacation home on Lake Eugenia, about 70 kilometres west of Barrie.

The homeowner was Enid Weiner, who had moved to a nursing home in 2008 or 2009 and has since passed away.

The home was insured by Intact. Enid Weiner was the only named insured, but the policy provided liability coverage for relatives of the named insured while those relatives were “living in the same household” as the named insured.

Whether this means Intact is also providing liability coverage for Enid Weiner’s adult son, Scott Weiner, was a source of disagreement among judges and insurers alike.

Scott Weiner, along with his wife and daughter, were named defendants in the drowning-related lawsuit. Also named was the estate of Enid Weiner. Scott Weiner used his mother’s house as a cottage but did not live there permanently.

Scott Weiner’s own insurer, TD Insurance, settled the lawsuit. TD Insurance took Intact to court arguing Intact has a duty to defend the lawsuit.

As it stands, TD has lost its case.

“The mere fact of co-residence is not enough to constitute membership in a household,” wrote Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Bradley Miller in Ferro v. Weiner, released Jan. 28, 2019.

Initially, Ontario Superior Court of Justice Pamela Hebner ruled in favour of TD. In her ruling, released Apr. 12, 2018, she ordered Intact to pay $62,500, or half the cost of settling the lawsuit.

Justice Hebner found that Scott Weiner was in the same household as his mother. He came to the cottage when he wished and took care of it as if it were his own place.

But Justice Miller of the appellate court countered that, at the time of the accident, Enid was living in a nursing home.

“Scott lived with his family in the city and had organized his life around his urban household. Prior to entering the nursing home, Enid lived with Scott’s brother, and not with Scott and his family,” added Miller, citing several court rulings, including Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. v. Bell, released in 1957 by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Wawanesa v. Bell arose after Murley Miller was killed in 1955 while driving a Vauxhall car owned by his brother, John Milley.  Other victims of that accident sued Miller’s estate. Murley lived at John’s home in Sarnia.

The court in the 1957 case defined the term “household” in the following way:

“The ‘household,’ in the broad sense of a family, is a collective group living in a home, acknowledging the authority of a head, the members of which, with few exceptions, are bound by marriage, blood, affinity or other bond, between whom there is an intimacy and by whom there is felt a concern with and an interest in the life of all that gives it a unity.”

Members of a household could include domestic servants and distant relatives living there permanently, the court found in 1957.

“Although a household is not synonymous with a family, the existence of a household is evidenced by the extent to which its members share the intimacy, stability, and common purpose characteristic of a functioning family unit,” Judge Miller of the Court of Appeal for Ontario wrote in 2019 in Ferro v. Weiner.

Members of a household “typically share a residence and resources, and integrate their actions and choices on an ongoing and open-ended basis,” added Miller.

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