Importance of digital security

For many Canadians, planning, shopping and being entertained online is now a part of our daily routine. This reliance for online tools and apps increases the risk of cyber-attacks and the potential for fraud or identity theft.

To alleviate this threat, internet users need to consider how to protect themselves from a variety of threats, including:

  • Identity theft: When personal data shows up on the dark web or through data breaches.
  • Monitored use: When using unsecured internet connection that leaves the user open to potential threats such as hacking, identity theft, and phishing attacks.
  • Unsafe browsing: Visiting harmful websites and links that scrape personal data.
  • Unsecure device: Low or no security settings on a device, including laptops, tablets and smartphones.
  • Not using a password manager: Repeating passwords or using easy to guess passwords that can be easily hacked or stolen.

Grow Your Savings Effortlessly with Moka

Automate your savings with every purchase and watch your money multiply. Moka rounds up your transactions and invests the spare change. Start building wealth effortlessly today. Join thousands of Canadians embracing financial freedom with Moka

Sign up now

How Boxx Insurance app aims to help

The app includes many features focused on cyber safety, including:

  • Notifies users if personal data shows up on the dark web
  • Creates a secure and encrypted Internet connection via a VPN
  • Scans WiFi networks for threats
  • Warns against harmful websites
  • Checks and improves the security settings of your device
  • Creates and manages strong passwords
  • Includes educational content intended to raise awareness of cybersecurity
  • Assistance from cybersecurity experts in case of emergency

Boxx’s app comes with two plan options. The prevention plan costs $107 per year and protects your devices with password manager, VPN, identity protection, and other solutions for up to 10 devices. It also offers phone support for cyber emergencies.

The more basic insurance plan costs $58 annually and covers costs for malware removal and data protection, as well as financial losses from cyber attacks during online shopping.

Boxx also has offices in Zurich, Miami, Dubai and Mumbai. As of last year, the company states it protects over 250,000 individuals and 10,000 businesses. It has been working with Zurich Insurance since 2021 when the latter invested in its Series A and Series B rounds, making it part of the Zurich Global Ventures portfolio company.

How to protect your online identity

While the Boxx app offers an independent, purpose-built app to protect against a variety of cyber-attacks, there are other methods that Canadians can use to protect themselves online.

Banks that offer identity theft protection

BMO: BMO offers identity theft protection through its OnGuard service, which tracks all activity related to your digital and financial identity so you can react quickly to instances of potential fraud. OnGuard saves time, money and stress by helping to report fraudulent activity and restore your identity in case of a breach while also notifying your card issuers on your behalf in the event of a stolen or lost card (can be reported and cancelled online or by phone). To be eligible for the OnGuard service, you'll have to open a BMO Performance Plan bank accountBMO Premium Plan bank account. Other eligible accounts include the BMO Employee Plan and the BMO Platinum plan.

National Bank: With Securizone, National Bank offers unlimited access to the ID Assist platform, online identity monitoring on illegal and black market websites and a review of illegal and black market website history to detect suspicious activity over the past 10 years. Additionally, it offers Identity restoration by limited proxy, one hour of psychological support by phone after an identity theft incident and legal assistance to obtain lawful information on identity theft and fraud. National Bank's premium Securizone 360 service also includes monitoring of the two Canadian credit bureaus, access to monthly credit scores and access to quarterly credit reports. Prices start at $7.95 for an individual account and $11.95 for a family.

RBC: As an RBC client, you have access to FirstReport-ID and FirstReport-Advantage free for 30 days. These services provide around-the-clock monitoring of public, underground and black market websites as well Canadian Credit Bureau agency files for suspicious activity. You can also receive a detailed report on your financial history with highlights of any suspicious activity, even it happened months or even up to 10 years ago. FirstReport will also send you daily alerts to let you know about any suspicious activity, to help you stay on top of changes and minimize any damage.

Fintech that offers credit account protection

Neo: Neo offers a Mobile & Personal Protection perk for $9.99 per month that includes:

  • Protection for your mobile device against damage, breakdowns, and theft
  • Dashlane Premium subscription for secure password management
  • $1 million in fraud, ransomware, and social engineering coverage
  • 24/7 support hotline and credit monitoring services

KOHO: At KOHO, its team monitors your account activity, such as login events, profile changes and transactions to ensure our members' funds are safe and protected. It also provides certain features to prevent fraud, including:

  • Real-time push notifications keep you informed about your account activity instantly
  • You can lock and unlock your cards whenever you need to
  • Change your card PIN whenever you want for added security
  • Get low balance alerts if your balance falls below a certain level

Credit cards that offer robust protection

American Express Cobalt Card: Alongside identity theft protection through its My Credit Guide, where you'll receive alerts if there are changes are made to your TransUnion credit report, with the American Express Cobalt Card, you can also earn:

  • 5x the points on eligible food, drinks and grocery purchases
  • 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions
  • 2x the points on eligible transit purchases and gas purchases
  • 1x the points on all other purchases

Visa options

Visa offers advanced security for online purchases through Visa Secure, as well as coverage if a card is ever lost, stolen or fruadulently used through its Zero Liability policy. Here are some Visa options to look into:

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card: The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card offers 4% cash back for every $1 you spend on grocery store purchases, recurring bill payments and subscription purchases, 2% for every $1 you spend on gas and daily transit purchases and 1% on all other purchases with no cash back limit. As a welcome offer, earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases), with no annual fee in the first year, including on additional cards

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege: Get the added benefit of accumulating Aeroplan points alongside the benefits of identity theft protection.

Mastercard options

Mastercard's ID Theft Protection service is free for all clients and includes: global multi-lingual support, a privacy policy forbidding the sale or usage of your data to third-party vendors and comprehensive identity monitoring and alerts. You can also opt for a paid service that offers even more benefits. Here are some Mastercard options to look into:

Tangerine World Mastercard: Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (e.g. groceries, restaurants, gas, entertainment, recurring bill payments and more), Boingo Hotspot membership for Wi-Fi at airports and on planes as well as a 3rd 2% cash back category when you open a Tangerine Savings account. Additionally, new cardholders can enjoy unlimited money-back rewards at a post-promotional rate of 2% across three categories of their choice as well as exclusive Mastercard experiences, all for a $0 annual fee.

Rogers World Elite Mastercard: For the world traveller, earn 3% unlimited cash back on purchases made in U.S. dollars and 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else.

— with files from David Saric

Sources

1 Travelers: Canada Identity Fraud Coverage

Sponsored

Trade Smarter, Today

With CIBC Investor's Edge, kick-start your portfolio with 100 free trades and up to $4,500 cash back.

Nicholas completed his master's in journalism and communications at Western University. Since then, he's worked as a reporter at the Financial Post, Healthing.ca, Sustainable Biz Canada and more. Aside from reporting, he also has experience in web production, social media management, photography and video production. His work can also be found in the Toronto Star, Yahoo Finance Canada, Electric Autonomy Canada and Exclaim among others.

Explore the latest articles

Credit card hacks for international travel

Many credit cards offer amazing travel benefits, but it's important to be mindful of fees, safety and hidden charges that can quickly add up

Winston Sih Journalism lecturer | Contributor

Disclaimer

The content provided on Money.ca is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.