How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Updated: Jan 21
Just within the last few years, identity theft cases have skyrocketed in Canada and globally. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports in the United States in the year of 2020 alone. While as an organization, our main focus is on business security services, in this blog we wanted to cover this topic to highlight the spike in identity theft around the globe. We will share the best practices on how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of this crime.
When you are physically shopping in-stores or making any card purchases, make sure you are covering your PIN code at the Point Of Sale. If you are making your purchases online, it is important to make sure your transactions are encrypted. The SSL certificate of the website should be up to date. That is the little lock beside the URL on the top left side of your browser.
Watch What You Post On Social Media
While social media sharing has become the gold standard for communicating in this modern age, it is important to remind everyone that posting your whereabouts publicly will benefit criminals. People often post their vacation destination and the length of their stay online and this only serves as an open invitation to criminals.
Always be vigilant of your Credit Card balances and Bank Account balances for transactions that you do not recognize as well as logins or devices on your activity history.
Add Two Factor Authentication To Everything
Most of us aren’t aware that our email accounts or passwords have been leaked in one data leak or another. There are often data breaches in large organizations which could pose a risk to all your online accounts. You can check if your email address has been detected in a data leak by navigating to this website. Therefore, it is important to have two-factor-authentication wherever possible. This also leads us to our next point…
Change Your Passwords Frequently
It is imperative that you change your passwords frequently and have a different password for each online account you hold. This can be difficult to accomplish, but if you are a Google Chrome user, your browser can generate random passwords and save them for you under your account.
Limit Access To Your Mailbox
Do you have a shared mailbox or an unlocked one? Criminals often steal packages or mail from unsecured mailboxes. Try to reduce the risk by checking your mail as often as possible or have your mail and packages shipped to the nearest Post Office.
Keep Government Issued Documents Secure
Try to keep important government issued documents secure in a lockbox in your home or in a safe. You should not carry your Social Insurance Number, Passport or Firearms license with you all the time. Always carry the bare minimum in a secure wallet.
Shred Before Recycling
Always shred letters from the banks or the government before recycling them. If you’ve ever lived in an apartment building, there is a big chance most of the residents will have a recycling bin near the mailboxes. Double check your unwanted mail before throwing it and if it contains your name and address, it should be shredded.
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