At Equitable Life, your trust and confidence in us is our top priority. That is why we are doing everything we can to protect the security and confidentiality of your information online.

While the Internet can be a helpful tool and an invaluable part of our lives, unscrupulous individuals can use it to access your information for their own benefit. . As such, we have taken steps to safeguard your information and want to promote how you can best do business with us over the internet.

What we do to protect your information

We integrate people, processes and technology and employ industry best practices to ensure your information is secure. The key components of our security practices include:

  1. Data encryption - When you log in to one of our Web sites, such as EquitableHealth.ca, you will notice a small padlock symbol that appears next to the address bar on your browser. This symbol means that the data passing through the Internet, such as your login/password or other personal information, is being encrypted. Anyone intercepting traffic between your computer and us will not be able to easily read it.
  2. Identity authentication - Before you access our secure Web sites, we have safeguards in place to confirm your identity to ensure no one else is able to access your information. First, you have been assigned a unique login to identify the person logging in as you. As well, we also require a password to verify your identity. To ensure your information remains secure, it is vital to keep your password secret.
  3. Session time out - We know that life can be hectic. When visiting our websites, it can be easy to get distracted or forget to log out. To protect against someone else accessing to your information when you step away from the computer, we automatically time out your "session" after a certain amount of time has passed. Your information is no longer accessible until you log in again.
  4. Regular reviews - Equitable Life's security practices are continually evolving. Internal and external parties regularly evaluate the current status of our security people, processes and technology to ensure all the pieces are in place to provide our customers with piece of mind.

How you can help protect your information

Much like a chain, security is only as strong as its weakest link. Anyone can create a very secure password with upper case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. But if they write that password on a sticky note and post it on their computer monitor where everyone can see it, then it is no longer secure. The following are a few simple ways you can protect your online information.

  1. Learn all you can about how to protect yourself from identity theft and on-line fraud. There are lots of great sources online, such as "The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada".
  2. Keep your secrets…secret.
    1. Do not create your passwords, passphrases or security questions based on information you keep in your wallet, such as your Social Insurance Number, your driver's license number, or your birthdate. This information is too easily discovered by a diligent and resourceful individual.
    2. Do not write down or tell anyone your passwords, passphrases or security questions.
    3. When using our websites, make sure no one else can see your information. And when you are finished, be sure to log off.
    4. If you receive a suspicious email or an email from someone you don't know, use extreme caution. Do not reply to emails that ask for personal information. And don't click on any links included in suspicious emails. When in doubt, call you internet service provider to verify whether the email is legitimate.
    5. Use extreme caution when using a public computer for personal transactions. Many public computers have programs running on them that record everything you type, all the websites you visit and what you do on those sites.
    6. Use extreme caution when using public wireless/wifi networks as they can be setup by unscrupulous individuals with the purpose of recording people's logins, passwords and other sensitive information.
    7. Make sure you password protect (and use WPA2 encryption) any wireless networks you have at home to limit who is using them.
  3. Passwords and more recently, passphrases are very useful tools for ensuring data security, but only if they are used properly. Ensuring they cannot easily be guessed and keeping them secret is what makes them useful.
    1. When creating a password or passphrase, use "strong encryption" :
      1. Password - A word at least 8 characters long that uses a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters; and
      2. A Passphrase - A phrase that is easy "for you" to remember but difficult for others to guess.
    2. Change your password on a regular basis.
    3. Do not write down your passphrase/password.
    4. Do not store your passwords on files in your computer unless they are encrypted.
    5. Do not create passwords or secret questions based on information you can find in your wallet, such as your Social Insurance Number, your driver's license number, or your birthdate. This is information that can be easily discovered by a diligent individual.
  4. Data Encryption
    1. Use an up-to-date web browser that supports a minimum 128-bit encryption.
  5. You should have anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed on your computer. New viruses and spyware are always being developed, so it's important to regularly update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  6. Ensure you update your computer software with the latest patches and updates in a timely manner.
  7. Use a personal firewall to prevent people from accessing your information. It's like having a door on your house that you can lock. Without it anyone can walk right in.
  8. Without the use of secure encryption, the Internet is not a secure medium and privacy cannot be ensured. Internet e-mail is vulnerable to interception, misuse and forging. Equitable Life cannot ensure the privacy and authenticity of any information sent via the public Internet. Equitable Life will not be responsible for any damages you may incur if you communicate confidential and personal information to us over the Internet or if we communicate such information to you.