You no longer need to leave your home for a lot of administrative transactions with the government, your bank, associations and institutions nowadays. You can deal with all that easily on the internet. Well, easy may be putting it too strongly... at least in the beginning... You at least need a functioning card reader and the pin code of your eID (electronic identification) or the ITSME app on your smartphone.
E-gov offers all sorts of options ….
But if you have all that at hand, there are lots of useful applications that you can use round the clock from the comfort of your armchair, which is useful for older people who are becoming a little less mobile. Here is an overview of the most useful government websites.
Your taxes online
We are all familiar with Tax-on-web. It is part of MyMinfin (https://eservices.minfin.fgov.be/myminfin-web/) where you can find and modify your complete tax file and all your data, and everything relating to your finances with the government.
Your pension online
Employees and pensioners can go to MyPension (https://www.mypension.be/fr) to consult their pension file with personal information on your statutory and any supplementary pension.
Your health online
MaSanté (https://www.mijngezondheid.belgie.be/#/) is an online health portal. The portal gives you access to your personal health data and useful information about health in general. For example, you can consult all your medication prescriptions, your medication schedule and your home care file. You can also click through to your health insurance fund and of course, since recently, you can also find all the information about COVID-19, your vaccination, quick tests, etc.
… and some stumbling blocks
E-gov is very convenient, but it still comes with some stumbling blocks. Government websites contain a lot of personal and sensitive data, so they are very well secured. Unfortunately, that also makes the procedures for signing up and logging in quite complex.
As we said, it's best to keep your eID, your card reader or your smartphone handy. Sometimes you have to install a software update before you can use your card reader. This does not always go smoothly. Once you have done that, you can log in with your eID -- if you remember your PIN or where you kept it when you went to get your new ID card so many years ago...
An alternative is the government's ITSME app. When you install that app on your smartphone, you can log into government websites relatively easily. To install ITSME, you must first identify yourself. You can do that with your bank card and the bank card reader you use for internet banking (note: this does not work for all banks) or... with your eID and your card reader.
Test whether you are digitally safe
You can test on Safeonweb (https://www.safeonweb.be/index.php/en/how-safe-are-you) whether your devices and accounts are properly secured. You can also test your knowledge about phishing. And of course, you'll find lots of other tips for your safety online.
Finally, a few tips
1. Beware of false e-mails and messages
Official government institutions, banks, insurers... never send e-mails or text messages asking you to fill in or modify your data. When you receive messages supposedly from official institutions asking you to click on a link to fill in or modify your data, a wide array of alarm bells should go off.
Never respond to such e-mails or messages, no matter how real or official they may look.
2. Be careful when shopping online
Shopping online is convenient, of course, but you usually have to pay online as well. And you often do that immediately after you have placed an order. There are many fraudulent web shops that make you pay for a purchase they will never send you. So it’s best to be a bit suspicious when you shop online.
If you often buy online and pay with your credit card, follow up on a weekly basis which payments are booked from your account and contact your bank immediately if you see any suspicious transactions.