You have a right to be scared of identity theft. Each day thousands of Canadians have their personal information stolen. Fortunately, by following these eight easy steps, you can protect your personal information.
1. Back Up Your Data
Ransomware is on the rise. Whether its personal, digital documents and photos or sensitive financial business data, be sure to back it up. And always store your backup media in a secure offsite location. A data vault preserves your media long-term and prevents unauthorized access to your data.
2. Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are easy targets for cybercriminals. It’s a best practice to avoid checking your email or online banking statement using your favorite coffee shop’s network. Instead, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to stay safe when you’re on the go.
3. Update Your Computer
Are you in the habit of ignoring the operating system update alerts on your computer or mobile device? If so, you’re putting your personal information at risk. Setting your system and security applications to update automatically is important, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
4. Don’t Share Personal Information over the Phone
Criminals don’t just rely on hi-tech methods to steal personal information—sometimes they just dial your phone number. Never share personal information over the phone, even if it comes from a seemingly-legitimate company or government agency. Remember that if a government agency needs to get in touch with you, they’ll do it the old-fashioned way: through the mail.
5. Shred Old Documents
Don’t assume you’re safe tossing that expired document in the trash or recycling bin. Thieves rummage through trash bins looking for bank statements, medical bills, credit card offers, and other documents with confidential information. Use a residential shredding service for your home or mobile shredding service for your business to protect your privacy.
6. Don’t Over Share Personal Info on Social Media
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends but it also makes it easy for criminals to steal your identity. As a result, never share your birth date, address, phone number and other personal data on Facebook, and other social media platforms.
7. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Security experts agree: passwords are easy to crack. Fortunately, most web-based services offer two-factor authentication. It works by sending you a passcode each time you log in. Combining two-factor authentication with a strong password boosts your privacy protection.
8. Check Your Credit
Each of the big three credit agencies offers a free, annual credit report. Even if you’re not buying a house or applying for a loan, take advantage of the offer. Doing so may alert you to unauthorized credit applications in your name.
Following these eight easy steps will keep your personal information secure.
FileBank offers records management and data protection solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information about our services, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.