Protect your personal information and documents

  • Never write down or share your PIN with anyone.
  • Shield the screen when entering your PIN to make a purchase or withdraw funds.
  • Never put documents containing personal information in the recycling bin or trash.
  • Only provide your personal information when absolutely necessary.
  • Only carry the ID cards that you need.
  • If you must carry an important ID card, be sure to keep a photocopy of it in a safe place (e.g., in a digital vault).

Be vigilant when online

  • Protect your computer sufficiently (e.g., with a firewall, antivirus software, anti-spyware software, a security program).
  • Only make purchases on secure sites (i.e., sites with URLs beginning with HTTPS and bearing the padlock icon).
  • Do not send personal or confidential information over email. Email messages are NOT secure.
  • Before accepting a request from a stranger on a social network site, ask for the reason for the request. Your profile likely contains a host of personal information, which that person could use.
  • Never reply to spam. Erase the messages without opening them.
  • Do not provide your banking information if requested via email. Financial institutions will never send you such requests. Often, you will be directed to a website that looks very similar to the online banking site you normally use, but is actually a fraudulent site intended to capture your personal information.
  • Avoid making online purchases or carrying out banking transactions on a public computer.
  • Choose complex passwords that include capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using words that are found in a dictionary. Above all, do not use your name or date of birth.

Whether you're on the phone, online or answering the door:

  • Do not send money to anyone you don't know.
  • Never pay supposed fees to claim a prize (e.g., a trip or a car).
  • Do not let a stranger in without showing identification.
  • Remember, you cannot win a prize for a contest you didn't enter.
  • If someone calls you with an offer that seems suspicious, ask questions. Ask for the caller's name, the company's name and the phone number at which you can call them back. You can then check online whether the phone number does, in fact, belong to the company.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!