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Safety Tips: Logistics

Shipping practice to adhere to:

  1. Pack high valued items in a sealed & secured box. (specific security boxes are provided in special circumstances. Ensure that the box is labeled with a return address and tracking number.
  2. Pack that box into a larger, sturdy, carrier or unmarked box.
  3. Ensure that materials are well protected with packing materials and exterior clear tape.
  4. Verify that delivery address is correct on external label/airway bill.
  5. Confirm that the exterior airway bill has the abbreviation "DSR" for signature requirements.

Shipping practices to avoid:

  1. Do not use a small box only or envelopes for shipping high value items.
  2. Do not use string or rope to secure the package.
  3. Do not label, write or show references to the contents of the package on the external surface of the box.
  4. Do not use a drop box, third party mailbox businesses or any other location not staffed by carrier employees.

Safety Tips

  • Use generic descriptors whenever possible when describing contents of package. Use terms like "parts", "components", "used timepiece", etc...
  • Record the details of the shipment, its value and the carrier in case of loss.
  • Purchase coverage for ALL shipments. Spending a handful of dollars to save thousands and have peace of mind is worth it.
  • Always use fastest service when physically and fiscally possible.
  • Schedule shipments so they're not delayed because of weekends, holidays or recipients on vacation.
  • Avoid shipping on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
  • Never discuss the contents of the package with anyone other than the recipient.
  • Before signing for a package, check for external damage and listen for internal damage.
  • Always make sure your packages are scanned by the carrier before they leave your store, home or office.
  • When dropping packages off at carrier hubs or carrier employee run retail facilities, request a receipt.

Safety Tips: Identity Theft

  1. Only Make Purchases On Trusted Sites
    When deals seem too good to be true, they just may be--you might be paying as a victim of identity theft when you make purchases on Web sites that aren't secure. There are lots of small online retailers that don't have adequately secure payment systems. The best way to make sure that your information doesn't get intercepted is by simply sticking with trusted, well-known online retailers, or smaller sites that use reputable payment processors like PayPal or Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) Checkout. Regardless of which site you use, you should always make sure to look for the padlock icon on the bottom of your browser to verify that the page is safe.

  2. Order Your Credit Report
    Your credit report is your window into your ID security. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, passed by the Federal government in 2003, mandates that each of the major credit bureaus supply consumers with a free copy of their credit report each year. You can get yours at (American users only), a Web site run by the credit reporting agencies to comply with this legislation. Your credit report allows you to see whether someone has opened new accounts under your name. (To learn more, see "The Importance of Your Credit Rating".)

  3. Know How To Spot Phishing
    Phishing is a technique used by identity thieves to get your sensitive information by pretending to be a site you trust. Phishing schemes are successful because you believe that you're just signing into your bank or credit card account, when it's really a ploy to get your important information. When logging into these accounts, make sure that you're not being asked for any information that you usually wouldn't be required to provide to log in. Social security numbers and addresses are often red flags. Also, check the url of the site. If you're accessing a Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ) account at a Web address that isn't at, it could be a phishing site.

  4. Secure Your Network
    If you have a wireless network at home or work, make sure that you secure it. A hacker can gain access to anything you do over an unsecured network in a matter of seconds. If you look at the documentation for your wireless router, you'll be able to find out how to lock your router and encrypt your information. It won't affect the way you use your wireless network, but it will keep intruders from getting a hold of your information.

  5. Can the Spam
    Be very leery of "spam" (or junk e-mail) that works its way into your inbox. Not only are these messages often from phishers, but they can also contain Trojan horses (viruses) that can get into your computer and send your information back to their unsavory creators. If you have the option, install spam-filtering software (or ask your e-mail provider whether it can add spam-filtering to your account). Not only will this cut back on going through your daily pile of junk e-mail, it can also keep your data safe.

  6. Don't Store Sensitive Information On Non-Secure Web Sites
    As more and more useful Web applications start springing up (like Backpack, Facebook and Google Calendars), it's important to make sure that you're not storing sensitive data on non-secure Web sites. While online calendars, to-do lists and organizers are really useful, make sure that your account numbers and passwords don't make their ways onto these sites, which often aren't protected the same way a banking or brokerage Web site would be.

  7. Set Banking Alerts
    Many financial institutions are beginning to offer e-mail and text alerts when your accounts reach certain conditions (being near overdraft, or having transactions over $1,000, for example). Setting alerts for your accounts can ensure that you find out about unauthorized access as soon as possible.

  8. Don't Reuse Passwords
    As tempting as it may be to reuse passwords, it's a really good practice to use a different password for every account you access online. This way, if someone does find out what your password is for one credit card, they won't also be able to access your checking, brokerage and e-mail accounts. It may take a little more organization to use different passwords for each site, but it can help marginalize the effects of unauthorized access to your accounts.

  9. Use Optional Security Questions
    Like with using different passwords for each account, it's a good idea to set up optional security questions to log into your accounts. Many financial institutions ask security questions that a third party wouldn't know, but you can often set up multiple optional questions that can increase the security of your account. Remember to use questions that don't have answers available by public record. For example, choose questions such as "What was the color of your first car?" over "What city were you born in?"

  10. Don't Put Private Information On Public Computers
    If you're away from home, make sure not to save private information onto a computer used by the public. If you're accessing a private account at the library or cyber café, make sure to log out completely from your accounts, and never choose to save login information (like your username or password) on these computers.

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