7 ways to protect yourself against identity theft

December 23, 2014

As we increasingly rely on technology to manage our information and finances, we need to take additional steps to protect ourselves.

7 ways to protect yourself against identity theft

Each year, millions of people worldwide are affected by identity theft.  There are many different types of schemes, and thieves have different motives for different attacks. Schemes range from dumpster diving for peoples personal information to advanced hacking technology.

There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself from these attacks.

1. Shred documents

Sneaky criminals can sometimes go through your garbage looking for any type of personal information about you they can find.

  • These types of attacks are easy to prevent with paper shredders.
  • More advanced models will shred your paperwork in such a way that it is almost impossible for someone to put it back together.

2. Choose strong passwords

If possible, always use special characters and random numbers for all of your passwords.

  • Don’t make all of your passwords the same and don’t write them down.
  • You should also avoid using personal information in your passwords such as your name or address, because they are easier to figure out.

3. Never give out your social insurance number online

Keep your SIN private.

  • Unless you’re dealing with a secure bank server, you should totally avoid revealing your social insurance number online.
  • Thieves can use this information for all sorts of financial and identity crimes.

4. Protect your PIN at the ATM

Always cover the PIN pad when entering your debit card PIN.

  • If both your card and PIN get stolen, your bank account is at risk.
  • Any time that you lose your debit or credit card, have it cancelled immediately.

5. Lock your devices

Leaving your devices unlocked will make you a target for identity theft.

  • We all carry personal information on our phones and computers and it’s important to keep them locked in case one of those devices gets stolen.

6. Monitor your accounts

Check your accounts frequently to make sure there are no unusual charges.

  • If you notice a charge that wasn’t made by you, contact your bank immediately.

7. Keep your wifi password protected

If you use an unlocked wifi signal in your home, you should consider locking and encrypting it.

  • Clever thieves can use your wifi connection to check your web history and personal details, so it’s very important to always keep it password protected.
  • For extra security, change your wifi password often and be careful who you share it with.
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