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Beware of software downloads with offers of “free services”

Organizations that capture information about usage and buying behaviour patterns on the Internet are now emerging. Some of these organizations monitor individual Internet activity through software downloaded to your PC or on a public computer you use.

This includes everything you type on your computer: your card numbers, account numbers, IDs and passwords. It also includes the personal and confidential information on the secure pages that you browse and the personal and confidential information you provide when you use our otherwise secure online applications.

You may have knowingly downloaded this software in exchange for free services, or you may be unaware that it is on your PC (for example, if you download several software programs bundled into the same download).

Beware of downloading software with offers of “free email virus protection” or a “no cost Internet accelerator” or other such enticements if you have to give up your privacy and the security of your online financial transactions. These offers can result in a third party company monitoring your Internet activity.

Understand the risks – don’t compromise your privacy and online security

Some of these companies monitor all of your Internet behaviour, including your normal web browsing and the activity you may have through secure sessions, such as online transactions or filling out an online application form that may contain your personal or company financial information.

When you access our secure online services (e.g. online banking, online investing or online credit cards services) on PCs that have this monitoring software installed, your otherwise secure session information runs through third party computers and gives the third party access to your confidential information.

We do what we can to provide you with a safe and secure online environment. We also need you to take the appropriate measures to secure your personal computing environment. We strongly recommend that you avoid using computers with third party monitoring software installed when you conduct your online financial transactions with us to safeguard your privacy.

Removing Third Party Software from your computer

Removing such software from your PC can be difficult. We suggest that you install and run spyware detection software*. For more information on removing spyware from your PC, search the keyword “spyware removal” through any of the following:

AllTheWeb
AltaVista
AOL Search
Ask Jeeves
Google
HotBot
Lycos
LookSmart
MSN
Yahoo

“Marketscore” and “Netsetter” are two known examples of Internet usage monitoring programs. Although they may not strictly qualify as “spyware”, we do not recommend that you use PCs to conduct financial transactions with us when “Marketscore” and/or “Netsetter” software is installed.

*Please note that removing third party software from your PC can be difficult. You may want to consult a trusted third party that specializes in computer maintenance and repair for assistance.

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