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Security Glossary

Encryption is a technique used to help safeguard private information while it is sent via the Internet. To recognize that your transmission is encrypted, some browsers will display a small icon on your screen that looks like a padlock or a key, and the URL (the address or location at the top of the browser) starts with "https" instead of "http" (the extra "s"). BMO Financial Group uses 128-bit encryption, which is a very high form of encryption. In order to use our Online Banking, you must have a 128-bit encryption level browser.

Digital certificates
A digital certificate is an electronic "passport" that authenticates a web site when doing business or other transactions on the Web. It is issued by a certification authority, such as Entrust and Verisign. It contains, amongst other things, the name, a serial number, expiration dates and the digital signature of the certification authority, so that a recipient can verify that the certificate is genuine. You can verify a digital certificate by clicking (or double-clicking) on the closed padlock that comes up at the bottom of the browser when doing business with a secure web site.

A firewall helps to limit online access to only those with proper authorization. A firewall acts as a virtual wall that separates a trusted environment (such as a corporate or home network) from an untrusted environment (such as the Internet), by controlling and regulating the traffic between these two environments. The trusted environment is protected from harmful activity (such as viruses, worms or intrusion attacks) initiated on the untrusted side.

Personal firewalls
A personal firewall (sometimes called a desktop firewall) is a software application used to help protect a single Internet-connected computer from intruders. Personal firewall protection is useful for users with "always-on" connections such as DSL, cable modem or dial-up connections. Often compared to anti-virus applications, personal firewalls work in the background, to help protect the integrity of the system from unauthorized access by controlling Internet connections to and from a user's computer, filtering inbound and outbound traffic, and alerting the user to attempted intrusions.

Choosing a good password


•  Use 6-digit passwords. Avoid birthday dates, numeric sequences or any other combinations that can be easily guessed.
•  Change your passwords frequently.
•  Use different passwords for every system you access.

•  Using words from dictionaries, names of friends or relatives, calendar dates or common phrases.
•  Using combinations of your name and initials.
•  Telling anyone your password.
•  Writing passwords on easily accessible places such as your desk calendar or under your keyboard.

Clearing your cache

If you are using any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x:

•  From your browser menu select: Tools
•  From the View drop-down menu select: Internet Options
•  On the "General" tab (the 1st one at the top) look for the "Temporary Internet Files" section near the middle of the window
•  Click on the "Delete Files" button - a new window will appear.
•  Check the little box that says: "Delete all offline content".
•  Click the "OK" button. An hourglass tells you that files are being deleted.

If you are using Netscape Navigator v6.x:
•  From your browser menu select: Edit
•  From the Edit drop-down menu select: Preferences
•  From the "Category" list (on left side of the Preferences window), open the sub-menu for "Advanced" by clicking on the little right-pointing arrow
•  From the Advanced sub-menu, click on the word: Cache
•  From the Cache window select: Clear Memory Cache & Clear Disk Cache; then select the OK button at the bottom of the Cache window.

Disabling file sharing in Windows products
Windows family of operating systems uses a feature called "File Sharing" which allows other computers on the network to access your PC, even from across the Internet. The help feature included in the Microsoft products will help you disable this feature. Click on Start, then Help, then Index and type "disabling folder or drive sharing" to find out instructions.

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