The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a confidential nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. It is also used for income reporting purposes.
It can be used to steal your identity. For example, with other personal information, someone can use your SIN to open a bank account or apply for a credit card, or rent cars, or leaving you responsible for bills. You should always protect your SIN. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada suggests following key steps you can take to protect your SIN:
- Storing your SIN card and other documents containing your SIN in a safe place. (Do not keep your SIN card in your wallet.)
- Shredding documents that contain your SIN. (Do not put them in the recycling bin.)
- Providing your SIN only when it’s legally required.
- Taking steps to protect your SIN if you believe it is being used fraudulently.
For more information about SIN and how to protect your SIN, please visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s website.