You are here: Home / Press & Campaign Toolbox / ECSM material / Protect your personal information and identity

Protect your personal information and identity

  • Use a strong password: Your password is the equivalent of the lock and key to your house on the Internet. Passwords are a major defence, and developing good password practices will help keep your sensitive personal information and identity more secure. The password of your computer is the key to access all information — both corporate and personal — you have stored on your computer and online accounts. Use a strong password to protect your data: use a complex set of characters; combine letters (capital and lowercase), numbers and symbols. The greater variety of characters that you have in your password, the harder it is to guess. Don’t use personal information — name, child’s name, birthdates, etc. — that someone might already know or easily obtain and try to avoid common words: some hackers use programs that try every word in the dictionary
  • Change your password regularly: If you believe your system has been compromised change passwords immediately
  • Keep your password secret: Your password is unique and must not be shared with anybody. Whenever possible, try to commit your passwords to memory. Have a strategy to memorize them. If you write your passwords down, be careful where you store them. Do not leave these records of your passwords anywhere that you would not leave the information that they protect
  • Unique account, unique password: Use different passwords for each online account you access (or at least a variety of passwords). If you use the same passwords on multiple accounts, an attacker who gains the access to one account will be able to access to all of your accounts
  • Secure your accounts: Many account providers offer additional ways to verify who you are before you conduct business on that site
  • Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level of information sharing. It is preferable to limit who you share information with
  • Use social networking sites carefully: Be aware that social networking sites can bring together many of the risks associated with being online; online bullying, disclosure of private information, cyber-stalking, access to age-inappropriate content and, at the most extreme, online grooming and child abuse