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How Do You Recognize and Prevent Identity Theft?


Each year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to online identity theft. This common issue can have lasting consequences on the financial and personal lives of those involved and so it’s imperative to learn the techniques and tools that can help prevent a potential identity theft event from taking place. Read this article to discover how to recognize and prevent identity theft.

Learn to Recognize the Signs

Identity theft can occur in numerous ways, but one of the first steps to preventing significant damage is to recognize when identity theft has taken place. The following are all signs that a person’s identity has been compromised:

  • Unexplained charges on credit cards
  • An alert to a name or address change on a bank account
  • Communication from a financial service provider highlighting possible fraud on an account

By responding quickly to these signs, and alerting financial institutions the moment fraud or identity theft is suspected, account holders can limit the financial impact of the event.

The Steps to Prevent Identity Theft

  1. Protect Your Social Insurance Number

    Your social insurance number is the number that identifies you to the various authorities. It’s important that this number is never given out to anyone other than a direct employer for regulatory purposes.

  2. Lock All Important Documents Away

    Within the home, it might be tempting to keep a passport or a birth certificate in a convenience place ready for travel. But these documents can be easily used for identity theft, and you should ensure that all important documents are kept in locked storage.

  3. Don’t Use Obvious Passwords for Banking Information

    Online hackers often use online bank accounts to access a person’s data and their finances. Try to use complex passwords when creating your accounts, and remember to never store your banking password information on your computer. This can ensure that additional level of protection.

  4. Review All Documents Carefully

    It might take more time, but you can prevent identity theft before it significantly impacts your life by reviewing all documentation carefully. Review any communication from your bank and review all statements you receive from credit agencies and credit card companies. This can help you to pinpoint a problem and secure your data.

The steps highlighted in this article can ensure your personal information is protected over the years to come. But remember to speak with your financial institution directly to learn more on the steps you can take to secure your account information. To learn more, contact Eugene Ng, National Leader, Cyber Security, at 905.607.9777 x223 or [email protected], or your local MNP Technology Solutions Advisor.