Identity Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and occurs whenever someone uses your name, social insurance number, financial data, or other personal information for their own financial gain. Follow these safety tips below to protect your identity online:
- Secure Your Device: Remember to always log out of websites and log off or lock your device as soon as you are finished using it. If you use your device to access financial information a thief may be able to as well.
- Use Strong Passwords: Make sure to create strong passwords that include both upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Use a unique password for every account and change your passwords often. It is better to keep a list of passwords in a safe place than to use one password for all accounts that a hacker may be able to crack!
- Shop and Bank Online With Caution: Use caution whenever sharing or accessing financial data online! Make sure you are using a trusted WiFi connection and look for the lock symbol in the website’s address bar to ensure the site is secure. Make sure to close all other browser windows when sharing financial information online.
- Limit What You Share: Be careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites and be sure to update your privacy settings. Cyber thieves can use information about you to gain your trust to steal more information from you. Never share personal information online unless it is to a known and trusted source and you initiated contact.
- Protect Your Computer: Install good anti-virus software and make sure to update it regularly.
- If you suspect your identity has been stolen, contact your local police and file a report immediately! Alert your financial institution and credit card company of the theft. Place a Fraud Alert on your credit reports by contacting Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.