Electronic Device Ban for Motorists takes effect October 26th

October 3, 2009 on 6:51 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Ontario’s ban on the use of cellphones, BlackBerrys and other hand-held electronic devices by drivers will take effect Oct. 26.

Motorists can expect a three-month education period when the ban first comes into effect, which means police will show some leniency.

But police will begin issuing tickets next Feb. 1.

Ontario drivers could be fined up to $500 if they’re caught using their hand-held cellphones or BlackBerrys to talk, email or send text messages while behind the wheel.

The government has said hands-free devices aren’t covered by the legislation, but they are not recommended for use while driving.

Ontario is the fourth province to enact such a ban, following Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Manitoba has introduced similar legislation.

Drivers are also banned from using portable video games and DVD players but they are allowed to use their cellphones for 911 calls.

Global positioning systems are allowed, as long as they’re properly secured to the dashboard.

There are no demerit points attached to the Ontario law, unlike in other provinces.

However, Ontario motorists using a banned cellphone could also be charged under careless driving laws and face fines, six demerit points, a driver’s licence suspension and even jail time.

Keep Safe on the Internet

September 11, 2009 on 8:33 am | In Consumer Protection | No Comments

This is important advise that, when followed, can keep you safe online.

Use these nine safety tips to invest safely on the Internet:

1. Protect your personal information.

2. Don’t click on links in e-mails.

3. Use secure sites for online banking and investing.

4. Ignore junk e-mail.

5. Protect your computer.

6. Use information and advice only from registered sources.

7. Don’t always believe what you read online.

8. Don’t buy thinly traded, little-known securities based only on what you read online.

9. Don’t let anyone sell you products when you only asked for information.

Phishing: a growing problem

Phishing involves both a request for personal information and a link for you to follow. According to Industry Canada, 18 million phishing e-mails were distributed in 2004. It is estimated that phishers are able to fool up to 5% of recipients. Here’s how it works:

* First, you get an e-mail from what seems like a legitimate financial institution (or an online shopping service such as PayPal or eBay). It asks you to verify your personal information by clicking on a link.
* The e-mails often say that there has been a “breach of security” or that they’ve “launched a new website.” They say it’s urgent that you confirm your login, account and/or credit card details.
* If you click on the link, you will be sent to a Web page that looks nearly the same as the company’s real website. But it’s not! It’s a fake page that the scam artists have designed to trick you into giving them your account, credit card, or identity details.

Learn how to protect yourself from phishing and other forms of online fraud.

Tip: If you suspect you have been targeted by a phishing attack, report it immediately to the financial institution in question. Most of the financial institutions that have been used as bait by phishers now have security warnings on their websites and hotlines where you can report such attacks. Also, report it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a global, pan industrial and law enforcement association committed to wiping out Internet scams and fraud.

For the full article, see the Globe and Mail website here

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