Tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity theft has been on the rise in Canada for the last seven years with 19,584 cases being reported in 2018.

Many of us assume that it will never happen to us. But are you sure you have taken all of the necessary precautions?

Here are some tips to help you minimize your risk of becoming an identity theft victim.

Protect your Information

  • Don’t keep all of your personal identification in your wallet. Store things like your social insurance number and birth certificate in a secure place.
  • Memorize your PIN codes. Don’t write them down anywhere even if you think they are in a secure place
  • Shred all personal and financial documents. Thieves do not mind going through your trash to obtain your personal information

Browse Safely

  • Disable Wi-Fi & Bluetooth when you are not using it – leaving your device open leaves your data vulnerable to access by others
  • Avoid using public computers for banking or online shopping
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi  the signal might not be coming from who you think it is, leaving your device and information easily accessible
  • Look for https: in the site URL or lock symbol when shopping or doing online banking. This means that the site is encrypted helping to protect your information while it is in transit

Monitor your Information

  • Keep track of when bills arrive – call the company if they are late to confirm that someone else has not intercepted it
  • Review your statements – review credit card and bank statements frequently to check for any unauthorized purchases or anomalies
  • Check your Credit Report – major credit reporting bureaus provide one free report each year

What to Do if you become a Victim

  • Report incident to local police
  • Report incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
  • Notify your Bank and credit card companies so that they can close any accounts and cancel cards that might have been affected
  • Report Missing Identity Documents such as driver’s license or health card
  • Contact your insurance broker – you might need to update your payment information to make sure that you do not end up with a cancellation for non-payment on your record. If you have purchased Identity theft coverage you will likely have access to advice & assistance to guide you through the process of restoring your credit and replacing your documents. You also might have coverage for some expenses you might incur as a direct result of the identity theft such as having affidavits notarized, or the cost to replace ID.

Contact us if you would like to add this coverage to your property insurance policy.