Protecting your personal privacy is vital in an age where identity theft is on the rise.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has prepared the following tips to help you from becoming a victim of privacy crime:

Identification, Debit and Credit Cards

  • Don't carry your birth certificate or Social Insurance Number (SIN) card in your wallet
  • Carry only the credit cards and identification you actually need
  • Never leave personal identification and/or credit cards in your vehicle
  • Cancel credit cards you no longer use and keep a list of ones you use regularly
  • Lower the limits on your credit cards so that thieves can't get away with large amounts of cash
  • If you lose your credit card(s), notify your creditors immediately and request that a fraud alert be placed on your file
  • Disclose your SIN only when necessary
  • Never give credit card or banking information over the phone, unless you initiated the call or know who you are dealing with
  • Beware of phone solicitations asking for personal details
  • Periodically check your credit report
  • Photocopy the contents of your wallet


  • When creating passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), avoid using your birth date, a series of consecutive numbers, or other dates others may know are important to you
  • Choose difficult passwords and change them periodically
  • Ask that your accounts require passwords before any inquiries and/or changes can be made
  • Never keep a record of your passwords or Social Insurance Number (SIN) in your wallet or handbag

Documents and Mail

  • Ensure that all items containing personal information such as charge receipts, bank statements, etc. are disposed of safely
  • Always shred receipts, copies of credit card applications, insurance forms, and physician statements
  • Pay close attention to billing and mailing cycles
  • Put outgoing mail in post office collection boxes
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox upon delivery
  • If you are going to be away from home, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to pick-up your mail or have Canada Post activate a 'hold mail' service
  • Avoid mail solicitations disguised as promotions that request personal information


  • Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank wickets, in trash cans, or at gasoline pumps
  • Arrange to have cheques picked up at your bank branch
  • Don't have your full name printed on your cheques. Use your first initial to prevent a would-be thief from knowing your full name
  • Keep all your receipts and reconcile them with your statements