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Security and Privacy

How does BMO InvestorLine protect my online financial transactions and personal information?
Among the several features that we have introduced to assist you in protecting your personal and financial information, our web site supports Internet Explorer browsers, version 5.5 or higher, and Netscape browsers, version 7.0 or higher that use 128-bit encryption.

Encryption is a means of scrambling information for transmission, in this case, between your PC and the Bank's computing systems. Information that is encrypted at one end is decrypted (decoded) upon receipt at the other end.

128-bit encryption is the strongest, most secure form of encryption that is generally available in Internet browsers on the market in North America today. BMO Financial Group and BMO InvestorLine require that our clients use 128-bit encryption when conducting financial transactions over the Internet. We also recommend the use of 128-bit encryption for all non-financial transactions over the Internet, e.g., the use of BMO InvestorLine's Online Application.

In addition to data encryption, as a BMO InvestorLine client, you require both your account number and password to access your BMO InvestorLine account through this web site. If you still want more information, visit our Security page.


What happens if there are unauthorized transactions in my account(s)?
To ensure superior quality client service, we will guarantee a 100% reimbursement* for any unauthorized transactions conducted in your account that results in a direct loss. Read our Online Security Guarantee for more information.


How do I know if my web browser supports 128-bit encryption?
The answer to this question will vary, depending on the type and version of browser that you are using. You will need to consult the section in your browser that discusses security information for full details. Chances are that if you haven't specifically obtained a strong encryption browser (128-bit), you aren't using one. If you are trying to sign into your account and you are receiving an "Insufficient Encryption" message, you will need to obtain a strong encryption browser.

If you do not have a 128-bit encryption browser, you can download your preferred browser from either the Microsoft or Netscape web site.


Are there other steps that I should take to protect my account?
Always ensure that you keep your account number and password in a safe place and don't reveal them to others. Never leave your computer unattended while signed into your account. When you sign out of your account, be sure to clear your cache.


What do I need to consider when choosing a 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
  • use words from dictionaries, names of friends or relatives, calendar dates or common phrases
  • use combinations of your name and initials
  • tell anyone your password
  • write passwords on easily accessible places such as your desk calendar or under your keyboard

Is email communication secure?
Messages you send to us by email are not encrypted. Do not send us any personal information (example: account numbers, passwords) or financial information by Internet email. The security, integrity and privacy of any and all information exchanged between you and BMO InvestorLine via email cannot be guaranteed and any such information may be tampered with in transit by a third party.

In addition to personal and financial information, do not send us any trading instructions; as such, trading instructions via email cannot be accepted by BMO InvestorLine.


What is a digital certificate?
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.


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


What is a personal firewall?
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.


How do I disable 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 view instructions).

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