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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


If protecting your financial identity keeps you up at night, you are not alone. 

March is Fraud Prevention Month and a new report from Mastercard reveals those surveyed would rather see nude photos of themselves leaked online than to have their financial security compromised. The survey also highlights Canadians trust their banks more than their significant other when it comes to their finances. Clearly, based on this report, we are very private when it comes to our finances and not very trusting of those closest to us. Canadians would rather have secrets revealed 51 per cent or nude photos of themselves leaked on the internet 44 per cent over having their financial information stolen or compromised.

But Canadians aren’t squeaky clean either and engage in risky financial behavior. Forty-nine per cent rarely ever change their password, 36 per cent use the same password for multiple accounts and 22 per cent write their password down on paper. I can’t speak for the type of pictures those surveyed have of themselves, but a compromise of any sort online could be damaging.

So why not engage safe cyber security? There are easy ways to ensure your finances and your photos are not place in jeopardy – update your passwords frequently, don’t write them down on paper and only shop on trusted sites and be sure to check your financial statements at least monthly.

When it comes to vulnerability, those surveyed expressed concerns about identity theft making them feel more uncomfortable than being placed in a compromising situation of their own. Forty-six per cent feared identity theft and 35 per cent worried about financial information compromised, versus 25 per cent who feared being mugged and 25 per cent who feared a medical procedure.

In life, there are things you can’t control but there are things you can– like the type of picture you might take and the protection you take against a cyberattack or identity theft.