Every day hackers are finding new ways to try steal your information and your money. You can protect yourself.

There are some simple steps you can take to help protect sensitive information that is important to you. The Federal Privacy Commissioner offers these Tips for Protecting your Personal Information:

  1. Think Twice — take a second thought about handing over your personal information when it is requested. Think about why the information is required, how it may be used and by whom. Remember, the Net never forgets.
  2. Ask Questions — read the privacy policies associated with the websites and apps that you use. Companies should be able to answer questions about how your information will be used and protected.
  3. Speak Up — if you have concerns about the personal information handling practices of an organization, your first step should be to bring it to their attention. Most organizations are sensitive to consumer concerns about privacy.
  4. Just Say No — consider subscribing to the National Do Not Call List to avoid telemarketers. Check off the “no thanks” box when asked to provide personal information or state your refusal to be contacted.
  5. Safeguard Your SIN — your Social Insurance Number is confidential and should only be collected and used for income reporting purposes.
  6. Protect Your Devices — ensure that your computer, smartphone and other mobile devices are password protected. Only download items from reputable sources. Install the latest protective programs and ensure that they are kept up to date. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use. Don’t leave mobile devices unattended.
  7. Protect Your Passwords — ensure that your passwords are hard to guess. Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different websites, apps and devices. Change passwords regularly.
  8. Get to Know Privacy Settings — mobile devices, browsers, sites/apps and other web enabled items have adjustable privacy settings. Be sure to review and adjust privacy settings regularly and never rely on default settings.
  9. Discard with Discretion — make sure data that is stored on devices you no longer use is properly purged before recycling or discarding. When doing business with are particular company, be aware of its personal information retention periods and disposal questions. Ask questions if you are unsure.
  10. Know Your Rights — Read up on the basics of Canada’s privacy laws:
  • Privacy Act — handling of personal information by federal government institutions
  • PIPEDA — Canada’s federal private sector privacy law.
  • PIPA (AB) — Alberta’s provincial private sector privacy law. Servus Credit Union is subject to PIPA.

Remember: you have the right to access and correct your personal information.

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