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How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

As news cycles feature more and more stories of major companies being hacked, and even ordinary people being victimized by different kinds of data breaches, it’s important that people take the time and effort to keep themselves safe from digital threats.

Technology can be great, but it can open up new threats for fraud to be committed against you if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to make sure that you stay safe, and that your private information stays confidential.

Hire a Professional Shredding Service

Identity theft can still be enabled the old fashioned way, by getting possession of sensitive information about someone by accessing their old paper documents. Perhaps you have bank records or tax information among your old papers, or your passwords are written down — your records could be used against you in different ways.

There are reliable document destruction services in Toronto you can hire to keep your information secure, and ensure that identity thieves can’t get a hold of your information. Professional shredders are the surest way to guarantee that your old paper and even electronic documents are utterly destroyed. You can bring what you need destroyed to them at their facility, and many even have a mobile shredding truck that can conveniently come to you. Either way, you’ll be safe.

Don’t Over-Share on Social Media

One way criminals check to see if a home is empty, and therefore easier to rob, is by scanning the owner’s social media pages to see if they’re away on vacation. Before you tell Facebook that you’re at the airport or post a picture of you at the beach, think about what signals this could send to bad actors.

If you really feel an urge to show people scenes from your tropical beach vacation, post these pictures after you get back.

Keep Your Passwords Strong

This seems basic, but many people keep simple passwords that are easy to remember, or use the same passwords for multiple things. Make sure that your passwords contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and that it’s not something predictable like your pet’s name or the year you were born. Don’t write down your passwords anywhere, and don’t share them with anybody.

Avoid Sketchy Links

If you get an email from someone claiming to have inherited a fortune, and they are willing to give a portion of it to you so long as you share with them your banking information, don’t give it to them! This is known as a phishing scam.

Sometimes a criminal poses as a trustworthy source, and urges you to click a link or asks for private information — banks and other institutions that are really trustworthy will never communicate with you along these lines. If you’re even a little bit skeptical, back away.

Keep vigilant, because criminals often look for new methods to get their hands on the information they need. But the tips provided above are important ways to keep your private information private, and keep yourself safe from identity fraud.