"Incorrect password, please try again."

"Please use the code sent to your mobile device to log in."

"Please enter the last three letters in your street name."

Image of a stressed out woman looking at her computer with her hands in her hair. Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

This can be incredibly frustrating to hear or see regularly. It feels more and more like we're bombarded with pins, passwords, and other protective measures.

But without these measures, it’s much easier for others to steal your information and use it to their advantage.

Stay alert and protect yourself!

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is as straightforward as it sounds: it's when someone steals your identity to gain access to a personal part of your life.

GIF of a happy face breaking to reveal a devilish face

This can be done by using your name, address, or financial information.

Icon of ID card

And with the rise of technology, it could also mean using your social media accounts, email addresses, or phone number.

Icon of a phone with various social media icons surrounding it


Which of the following is NOT an example of identity theft?

When your identity has been stolen...

The thief gains a lot of power. Depending on the way your identity has been stolen, the consequences vary, but they're never good.

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For example, if you have had your credit card information stolen, the thief might make numerous purchases or engage in strange purchasing habits that will impact your credit score.

On the other hand, if someone has gained access to your social media accounts, they may attempt to scam your followers or post strange content.

It's important to take action right away!

What to do if you're a victim of identity theft

If your personal or financial information has been stolen, you should:

  • gather records of all unusual activity

  • look up the recommended method of reporting in your area (ex: police, specialized fraud hotline)

  • contact your financial institutions and let them know what's happening

  • reach out to theft support services if they are available in your area

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If your social media has been compromised:

  • change your passwords and force all devices to log out

  • let your followers know

  • take legal action if you've been severely defamed

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If the person stealing your social media identity messages you, you should:

Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

In order to stay safe from identity theft, here are some general rules to follow:

Icon of a red circle with an X in it Don't:

  • share your passwords or pins with anyone

  • share personal information on social media

  • follow links sent by people you don't know through emails or social media platforms

Icon of a green circle with a checkmark in it Do:

  • report suspicious activity to prevent more theft

  • stay up to date with your privacy settings

  • create strong passwords

  • set up added security functions when possible (ex: password + code sent to your phone)


An unfamiliar user sends you a direct message with a suspicious link asking you to sign "a petition to end world hunger". What should you do? Select all that apply:

Take Action

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If you know anyone that may be vulnerable to scams and tricks online, please let them know what you've learned. You can also...


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