Internet and email scams
Viruses, worms and Trojans
What are viruses, worms and Trojans?
Viruses, worms, Trojans and other malicious programs are transmitted through the Internet and can infect computers. These malicious programs can cause serious harm to customers, such as destruction of data and theft of personal information
How to protect yourself
Here are some tips to protect yourself from downloading viruses, worms or Trojans onto your computer:
- Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date and reliable. Anti-Virus is an important part of McAfee Security from Bell, which is included with many Bell Internet packages.
- Be wary of email and instant messaging attachments or files, even if they are from people you know.
- Scan downloads with anti-virus software before installing them.
Download and install McAfee Security from Bell now.
What is spyware?
Spyware is software that is uploaded on your computer, usually secretly uploaded when you are surfing the web that collects and sends information from your computer without your permission.
How to protect yourself:
- Watch out for unexpected offers, warnings and dialog boxes that suddenly pop up while you’re online. Avoid clicking on them, even to cancel or close them.
- Be wary of peer-to-peer sharing (computer systems connected to each other through the Internet).
- Always read the End User License Agreement when downloading from trusted sources.
Get rid of spyware on your computer with anti-spyware software. Anti-spyware is part of many McAfee Security from Bell package which is included with Bell Internet service.
Hackers & Malware
What are hackers & malware?
Hackers or snoops are people who try to get your personal information like credit card numbers and passwords by getting into your computer remotely. They may also try to get social insurance numbers and other important information so they can commit fraud.
Malware (Malicious software) means a program or software designed to enable unauthorized persons to access a system to disrupt its operations or to change or steal data. Malware can be difficult to detect, as it generally does not appear on the list of installed programs. It can be installed inadvertently by downloading certain free software, visiting certain websites or via peer-to-peer file-sharing. (Computer systems connected to each other through the Internet).
How to protect yourself:
- Update your software and operating system: Upgrades have the latest technology which can make them more secure and worth the investment to stay up to date.
- Firewall: Ensure that you have an up-to-date network firewall and that the firewall that is part of your laptop’s operating system is also running and up to date
- Anti-virus: Keep your anti-virus software up to date and consider regular scans for spyware and malware.
- Maintain security: Firewall and Anti-virus are always up to date as part of McAfee Security from Bell, which is included with most Bell Internet packages.
- Choose strong passwords you can remember without writing them down. Mix upper and lower-case letters with numbers and, if possible, symbols.
- Review your credit card and bank statements, and log in regularly to your accounts to check the activity.
Be careful in public places: If you use a public computer or if you use your own computer on a public network (e.g., a coffee shop) do not visit financial institutions’ websites, or input any personal information or passwords. Be sure that no one else can see your password if you enter one to access your hard drive.
Phishing, Junk mail and Spam
What is phishing?
Phishing is a form of fraud that uses email messages with phony addresses, websites or pop-up windows to gather your personal information, which can then be used for identity theft.
Phishers circulate emails with legitimate-looking logos and design styles and may link to websites that also look legitimate. For example, a phisher might send an email asking you to update your Bell billing details to keep your account active. The email will ask you to click on a link taking you to a website that looks like Bell’s, where you’ll be asked for your login and account details. Alternately, the email may say you have a computer problem and need to click on or open an attachment to solve it. But if you click on it, you could install something damaging to your computer, or trigger your computer to send your personal information to the phisher.
Phishing can also be in the form of those emails offering money for work-at-home jobs, or asking for help with frozen bank accounts.
What are junk mail and spam?
Spam messages (or "junk email") are unsolicited and unwanted emails for services and products. These sales pitches may be for anything, including health products, adult websites, software, clothing, financial services and many other things. The products and services may be legitimate, or they may be fraudulent.
How to protect yourself
- Share your email address only with companies and organizations you trust to keep it private, and avoid posting your email address on website forums or newsgroups.
- Enable your Bell Internet Junk Mail filter.
- Don’t respond to junk mail.
- Beware of contest and prize offers. In Canada, you will never win a contest if you didn’t enter it.
- Use an alternative (temporary) email address such as Hotmail or Gmail for non-personal purposes.
- Distort your email address when posting it online so spam engines can’t pick it up, for instance, type "john dot doe at bell dot net" instead of “email@example.com”.
How do I know if an email is really from Bell?
Bell communicates with customers through email regularly, and we have rules about requesting personal information as well as what we include in attachments. However, our emails will never request personal information such as passwords, PIN numbers, banking or credit card information (unless we are responding to an initial telephone inquiry made by you)
Additionally, our emails will never include:
- Direct links to virus removal tools. Instead, we will direct you to support.bell.ca/Internet for detailed instructions on how to remove a virus.
- Executable (.exe) file attachments (programs).
Genuine emails from the Bell companies may include:
- Links to pages related to Bell services
- Notification of changes to your service, and virus or security alerts. Remember, we'll always refer you to pages on bell.ca for more information.
- Marketing and promotional offers, including contests
- A customer survey or a link to a customer survey site
- A request for permission to send you information on Bell products and services and those of its third party business partners
Think before you click.
- Be realistic; if it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t respond to requests for personal information such as your bank account number in an email.
- Be wary of alarmist, seemingly urgent messages, slightly altered web or email addresses and emails with spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Don’t forward virus warnings that come with "send this to everyone you know" requests, even if they appear to come from a credible source. These messages are hoaxes, and if they include any links or attachments, they can be dangerous to yours and your friends’ computers.
- Be aware of the communication policies of the companies you use and what types of messages they will send.
How to report it
If you think you’ve been a target of any type of phone or internet fraud, you should call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre,
at 1 888 495-8501 or visit Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If the phishing scam involves the false representation of Bell, email the situation to firstname.lastname@example.org