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Preventing Identity Theft

At home, you should:

  • empty your mailbox daily
  • store ID cards and ID documents in a secure place such as a locked fireproof safe
  • shred documents/expired cards with personal information once you no longer need them
  • check balances on your statements from banks, credit cards and companies often
  • report any strange activities in your bills and statements right away
  • check your credit report once a year for errors or strange activities
  • avoid giving out any personal information over the phone unless you've placed the call yourself
  • avoid giving out sensitive personal information over the phone when you’re in a public place
  • don't put more than your name and address on your personal cheques

When shopping, you should:

  • carry as few cards and documents as possible
  • always check to see the credit card you get back from the cashier is your own
  • never tell anyone your banking PIN or credit card PIN
  • make sure no one is watching when you use a banking machine or ATM
  • avoid using banking or cash machines in isolated or dimly lit areas
  • avoid giving out too much personal information

When online or on your mobile device you should:

  • change your passwords often and make them strong
  • avoid posting personal information online such as your date of birth and mailing address
  • make sure you review and understand the privacy settings on all social media sites you use
  • disable the “geo-tracking” on your phone before posting public photos on social media sites
  • before you sell/dispose of your computer/phone/tablet, wipe its hard drive or destroy the drive/device
  • avoid online shopping/ banking when using public Wi-Fi
  • before you give credit card info or financial info to a business, ensure it’s a secure website
  • after a financial transaction online, sign out of the site & clear your browser’s cookies and cache
  • ensure your computer’s anti-virus and other security features to detect malware are up-to-date
  • don’t download apps/software on your phone/tablet unless they’re from official app stores
  • government organizations/financial institutions/police never email/ text you asking for your passwords/PINs
  • never click on a link from a spam message