Protecting your privacy…

Personal and financial information is currency for criminals online. With your stolen identity, a criminal may be able to access your bank account, obtain credit cards or loans in your name and potentially ruin your credit rating.

You need to be careful with how much personal information you reveal online. Sharing your address, telephone number, birthday, and other personal information can mean you are at a greater risk of identity theft, stalking and harassment.

This includes information you post on social media.

Stay Smart Online has the following tips for protecting your privacy and identity online:

Take proactive measures to protect your information

• Use strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.

• Use a separate email address for shopping, discussion groups and newsletters.

• Only share your primary email address with people you know.

• Adjust your privacy settings on social networks to control the amount and type of information you want to share.


Moderate your activity online and monitor for signs of compromise

• Check your billing and account records carefully to detect signs of potential

identity theft early.

• Be careful when signing up to mailing lists – spammers sometimes use the unsubscribe button to validate addresses.

• Only make online purchases from companies that have a clear privacy policy and secure payment pages.

• Think before you fill out online forms and be careful with whom and how you share your information. Ask yourself: do I really need to give my information to this site?

• Keep a record of what information you have given to whom.

Know what to do if your identity is stolen

• Notify your financial institutions.

• Change your passwords.

• Notify the relevant websites.

• Request a credit report from a reputable credit reference bureau.

Where to get help

If you think you have been the victim of identity theft, act quickly to avoid further damage. Contact iDcare, a free government-funded service who can help.