Data encryption on our websites
Whenever personal information is captured on our website, we use a high level of security to protect it. These security levels are standard for internet banking and large scale e-commerce sites and involve the use of 128-bit encryption. You can check the security level of a web page by clicking on your internet browser's padlock or key icon. Encryption is the standard way of protecting your information as it is transmitted between you and us. This involves converting the information into an unreadable code using a "key" (and also de-coding it using this "key"). The longer the key, the more difficult it is for others to break the encrypted code.
Automatic session timeouts for the application
All active sessions in the system will time out if there is no activity, the system is designed in this way to protect your information and identity when accessing your information via a shared or public computer.
Protecting your online account
- Choose a username that's easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess.
- Don't save any password on your computer or any personal devices.
- Don't write down any passwords.
- Use a combination of numbers and characters, including uppercase and lowercase in your password.
- Don't select a password that contains your username or any personal details that can be guessed by others.
- Never provide your password over email, social media or based on an email request.
- Don't reveal your username or passwords to others.
- Don't use the same password for all websites, especially internet banking.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Ensure your computer has been installed with high quality and well known anti-virus software and anti-spyware, remember to keep these up to date.
- Regularly download and install the latest security patches for all of your computer software, including web browser applications. Check the software vendor's websites for updates.
- If you think your password has been compromised, change it immediately and contact Customer Solutions.
Personal information and identity
What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information (your name, tax file number, credit card numbers, or other identifying information) without your permission to fraudulently establish a new account, apply for a loan, and gain access to an existing account or other crimes.
Identity thieves may use a variety of methods to access your personal information. Often, they:
- Steal wallets and purses containing your personal identification (e.g. driver license and Medicare card) and bank cards.
- Steal your mail, which may include bank and credit card statements, tax information and pre-approved credit offers.
- Find personal information in your home.
- Use personal information you reveal on the internet.
- Send false emails pretending to be from your bank to trick you into revealing your personal information and passwords – this is known as phishing.
Most scams ask you for money or your bank account details in return for a lucrative reward which never arrives. They often take the form of a lottery or “official” letter. Scams are becoming more elaborate and come in other forms, such as online shopping and mobile phone scams. Avoid becoming a victim of internet scams by:
- Never disclosing any personal bank, account, and password information via email or via links to sites.
- Being conscious of websites or links in emails. These may take you to sites that contain viruses or spyware that attempt to capture your keystrokes to identify passwords and private information.
- Never providing bank account details to parties, who claim to be government officials or charitable organisations, asking for a payment (fee) in order for you to receive a monetary reward.
- Never responding to job advertisements asking for you to receive money in and out of your account (this usually involves the criminal act of money laundering).
- Checking your account transactions regularly.
Please note that GE will not make unsolicited requests for your sensitive information.
A cookie is a tiny element of data that a web site can send to your browser, which may then be stored on your hard drive, so you can be recognised when you return. You may set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie. Cookies are used on our websites to monitor the traffic to the site and help us to continue to improve the layout of information, etc. Cookies are used to:
- Count the number of visitors to each page.
- Track the path each visitor takes to navigate this web site.
- Assist when our web site requires you to register or login to gain access to the site and as part of registration processes.
- Store the username while the user is logged into the site.
- Track the number of times the user has tried to log in during a single visit.
- Facilitate targeted marketing to you.
- Allow third-party vendors, including Google, to show GE ads on sites across the internet.
- Allow third-party vendors, including Google, to serve ads based on someone’s past visits to GE web sites.
It’s important to secure your computer properly – otherwise you may be putting yourself and possibly your family and friends at risk of being defrauded.
If malicious software infects your computer, it can stop it working properly, delete or corrupt your files, and allow others to access your computer and your confidential information. Having up-to-date security software installed and activated, securing your internet connections and services and understanding and managing the emails and files you do receive or download can help reduce these risks. Backing up your data can also help you recover your information if a virus destroys your files, or if your computer is stolen or damaged.
- Install security software and update it regularly. Install and activate anti-virus and anti-spyware software. You may also consider installing a firewall.
- Turn on automatic updates so all your software receives the latest fixes. New viruses and spyware are created every day, so it is important that your software is up-to-date and can detect new threats.
- Set strong passwords, particularly for important online accounts and change them regularly – consider making a diary entry to remind yourself.
- Make sure the website you are entering is legitimate. If it’s a secured site, such as this one, look for the padlock at the bottom of the web browser – it should connect with a full 128 bit SSL encryption. You can double-click the padlock to view the sites digital certificate.
- Be suspicious of emails from people you don’t know, particularly if they’re claiming to be from the administration or service departments. Delete suspect emails immediately or report them to your financial institution. The same applies for websites. Remember, anything that looks too good to be true usually is.
- Stop and think before you click on links or attachments in emails. Spam emails often look legitimate but they can be used to carry viruses and other malicious software.
- Stop and think before you share any personal or financial information-about you, your friends or family. Don’t disclose identity information (driver licence, Medicare number, birth date, address, etc) through email, public chat rooms, or blogs.
- Before disposing of your computer, remove all traces of your personal data. Special wiping software can be downloaded or purchased to help you clean your hard drive.
- Keep yourself informed about the latest cyber security risks. Subscribe to email notification services that keep you informed about the latest cyber security risks and solutions.
- Back up your data regularly.
- Avoid using public internet access (e.g. cafes or airport lounges) for financial banking or transactions.
If you suspect your username or password has been compromised please phone us immediately.
The features that make your mobile device (phones, tablets, etc) “smart” also make them susceptible to viruses and malicious software. If your device isn’t secure and it is lost or stolen, your personal information – including passwords, banking details, emails, and photos – could be used to access your money or to steal your identity.
- Put a password on your device and a PIN on your SIM card.
- Set up your device to automatically lock.
- Encrypt your data.
- Consider installing security software from a reputable provider.
- Stay with reputable websites and mobile applications (apps).
- Be careful when allowing third party unsigned applications to access personal information.
- Do not click on unsolicited or unexpected links.
- Check your bill for unusual data charges or premium call rates.
- Check for updates to your device’s operating system regularly.
- Be smart with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – try to use an encrypted network that requires a password, and avoid online banking or financial transactions in busy public areas.
- If you recycle a device, make sure you delete all your personal information first.
For more information go to Stay Smart Online – Secure your mobile phone and devices.