The Hartford and You – Protecting the Security of Your Information
How The Hartford Protects Your Information
At The Hartford, the security of your account information is important to us. That's why we take precautions to help safeguard your personal information and assets. The Hartford uses the latest in proven technology to help us protect the security of your accounts and help prevent unauthorized access. Here are just a few of the measures we take to safeguard your information:
Individualized User IDs and Passwords
For secure online access to your account, you will have your own personal ID and a password that you create. To protect your identity, we strongly recommend that you not use your Social Security Number as a username or password.
Then, we take specific precautions to protect that user ID and password. For example:
- We require that your user identification be unique – not the same as your password or other information uniquely identifying you.
- If we ask you to change your password periodically, we require that you first enter the old password, then enter the new password twice to verify it.
If you forget your password, the system may ask for some personal identifying information and/or a challenge question. Once you enter the correct response, we may either ask you to 1) reset your password immediately before proceeding, or 2) send you a password reset link to your email directing you to reset your password. You must click on the link to be redirected back to the system to complete the password reset, or you may be directed to a customer service representative to reset your password.
Secure Account Access
To access your account, you must enter your correct user ID and password. Once you start the secured session, all information passed between your computer and The Hartford's site – including your user ID and password – is encrypted using a protocol known as Secure Socket Layer (SSL). SSL turns your information into complex coded sequences that are nearly impossible for outsiders to decipher. Our computers translate the code back into meaningful data once the Internet transmission is complete.
We use some of the strongest forms of encryption available today to help maintain the security of your Internet session.
Two indicators will let you know that security is present:
- The web address for the site will begin with "https://" where the "s" stands for "secured."
You'll note a padlock icon on your browser window. The location varies depending on your browser: lower right corner (Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox) or upper right corner (Safari).
Limited Number of Login Attempts
We will disable access to your account after a specific number of incorrect login attempts. Please contact us if your account becomes disabled. A security administrator must verify your identity before resetting your account.
It's always safest to click on the logout link to abandon your session and destroy any session tokens. But if you don't log out, The Hartford's system will automatically log you off from your session after a period of inactivity. This helps reduce the risk of someone else accessing your information from your unattended computer.
The Hartford's computer systems are protected around the clock by a powerful firewall that blocks unauthorized entry to our networks.
At The Hartford, we continually maintain and monitor our security systems with the goal of maintaining the security of your account.
How You Can Protect Yourself
In an effort to better secure your personal information, we encourage you to help us with our goal of keeping your account secure and protect yourself from identity theft. While The Hartford is vigilant in the steps we take to help protect your information and assets, we can't do it alone. That's why we encourage you to take specific precautions to protect your account and personal information.
Keep Your Computer Protected
Just as you wouldn't keep your house or car unlocked, you shouldn't leave your computer and all of the information on it unprotected and vulnerable. An attack by a virus or hacker could leave you feeling just as violated as you would after a break-in to your car or house. Here are some steps you can take to keep your computer safe and the information on it protected:
- Keep your computer updated and protected. Your first line of defense is keeping your computer, browser and anti-virus software up to date. Once your systems are current, you can configure your computer's operating system and browser to receive updates automatically.
- Install anti-virus software. Anti-virus software will scan your files and emails to detect an existing virus. You can keep this software up to date with the automatic updates offered by most virus protection programs. Then, you'll want to scan your files for viruses monthly – or better yet, set up your anti-virus software to scan every file you open.
- Activate your computer's firewall. Your computer should have a firewall that will block unauthorized access to your computer when you're on line. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer firewall services to their customers or you can buy the firewall hardware and software.
- Make sure you have anti-spyware installed. Anti-spyware software helps protect your computer from malicious spyware programs that are usually hidden in otherwise harmless programs. Spyware is dangerous because it can gather private information such as passwords and credit card numbers. Again, you can look to your ISP or to a retail outlet for the latest anti-spyware protection.
- Protect your wireless network. Because the default configuration of your wireless network may not be secure, you should contact your wireless software vendor about increasing the security of your network.
Surf carefully. A lot of free software can have viruses or malicious software that could steal your information. Be careful when downloading free software from the Internet.
Use Caution When Away From Home
You may face additional security risks when you're online away from home – whether you're on a public computer or an unsecured network. Consider taking these additional precautionary steps when you're away from your home base.
- Don't go public. Think twice about using public computers, particularly for anything confidential. Be aware that even computers in legitimate business centers may contain malicious software.
- Always log out. If you do use a public computer, make sure to log out of your account. You can also clear the browser's cookies and clear the cached files from the browser before closing the browser (refer to Help for your browser for instructions).
- Update before you go. Using your laptop is more secure than using a public computer, but make sure to update your anti-virus software, browser and other software before going out.
Use only networks you can trust. Because some wireless networks in public areas have reduced security, your information may be vulnerable. If you're unsure of the security of a wireless network, don't use it for conducting confidential business, such as accessing your account.
Watch Out For Identity Theft
Identity theft is a crime that affects millions of people every year. Recovering from it can be time-consuming and sometimes costly. Here are some steps you can take to safeguard your identity:
- Think twice about your user IDs and passwords. When choosing a user ID and password, don't use your Social Security number, date of birth, anniversary or anything else that's easy to guess. If the user ID or password for your Hartford account contains such readily identifiable information, we recommend that you change it. Please log in to your account and follow the steps for that particular site.
- Don't share. Create a unique ID and password and don't share them – not even with friends or family. Your password should not be the same as passwords you use on other websites. Don't write your password on anything near your computer and don't include your ID, password or personal financial information in an email.
- Be willing to change. Change your password at least once every six months.
- Be wary. Don't click on any unfamiliar emails, pop-ups, links or attachments – even if they look like they're from a friend.
- Beware of phishing. These are messages that provide links to phony web sites, where you may be asked to supply personal information. Never enter personal information unless you're sure the web site is legitimate – and makes sure to look for the letter "s" at the end of "https" at the beginning of a web address. You're better off retyping the web address than clicking on a link.
- Keep an eye out. Monitor your financial statements. If anything doesn't look right, don't assume it's an error. Contact the bank or financial institution at once. You should also monitor your credit for inaccuracies. If your bills don't arrive on time, contact creditors so you can verify your billing address and check recent transactions.
- Check your credit reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives individuals the right to receive a free copy of their credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You can request your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Promptly report suspicious incidents. Please contact us if you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (for example, if you feel that the security of any account you might have with us has been compromised).
Additionally, if you receive an email or other correspondence requesting that you provide any sensitive information (including your password or Social Security number) via email or to a website that does not seem to be affiliated with the site, or that otherwise seems suspicious to you, please do not provide such information.
To learn more about using the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, visit StaySafeOnline.org.
If You Believe the Security of Your Account Has Been Compromised
Please notify us immediately if you ever have reason to believe that the security of your account has been compromised in any way. Also be sure to keep your contact information updated in case we need to contact you about any suspicious account activity.
The Hartford Privacy Law
One Hartford Plaza - HO1-143
Hartford, CT 06155