With so many of our daily activities happening online, from shopping, banking and staying in touch with our friends and family through social media, it’s important to understand how much information is available about you online and how to keep your personal information safe.

Identifying and securing your accounts

No one wants to be a victim of online identity theft and ensuring you’ve secured your accounts, many of which save our personal and financial information, will go a long way towards protecting you from cyber threats. Figuring out how many and which accounts you have may seem like a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. Here are some ways to find out what online accounts you have open:

  • Browse your emails and find any accounts linked to your email account(s) or check for verification emails using the search function.
  • Check the settings of the social media accounts you use to sign-up for different services (for example Facebook: Go to Settings > Apps and websites)
  • Use your browser to check for saved accounts and find old accounts that you may have forgotten about:

    • Chrome: Head to Settings > Auto-fill > Passwords
    • Firefox: Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Login and Passwords > Saved Logins
    • Edge: Head to Settings > Profile > Passwords
    • Safari: Open the Safari menu > Preferences > Passwords

Once you’ve identified your accounts, login to each one to check your account and privacy settings, develop strong unique passwords (especially if you have re-used passwords), and close any accounts you no longer need.

Managing your online identity

Once you’ve secured your online accounts, it’s important to be mindful of what, and how much, information you share, particularly on social media, dating and online community sites.

How to avoid oversharing:

  • Never share personal or financial data such as your birthdate, home addresses, PIN, credit or debit card numbers, driver’s license number or any other personal or financial information online.
  • Never share your password or information that serves as a clue to guess your password. Think about the common security questions you set on your accounts and whether the information you share online can be used to answer those questions.
  • Regularly review the privacy settings on social media sites as they sometimes change without notification.
  • Set your social media account status on sites like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter to private so only people you have accepted can view your information.
  • Only accept requests to connect from individuals you know. Some social media accounts are fraudulent and you could be sharing your personal information with a cyber criminal.
  • Review your contacts regularly to ensure all your contacts are still relevant.
  • Be careful about personal details in photos that you post online to ensure you’re not revealing street signs, house numbers, license plates or other sensitive information.
  • Don’t share too much about your schedule; especially when you will be out of the house or on vacation for extended periods of time.

Stay in the know about cyber security

Staying up to date on the latest online threats can help you better protect yourself and your money from frauds and scams.

Additional tips and information on good cyber hygiene practices can be found in the Canadian Bankers Association's Cyber Security Toolkit for consumers.

You an also sign up for the CBA’s free fraud prevention newsletter to learn about the latest scams.


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