Protecting your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is very important because it can be used to obtain personal information and invade your privacy. Identity theft and other types of fraud can result from not securing your SIN. To prevent this from happening, there are numerous ways to protect your SIN such as only providing your SIN when it is legally required, storing your SIN in a safe place, or taking immediate measures to protect your SIN when you suspect someone else has been using it.
Your employer, your income tax information, financial institutions where you earn interest or income or government benefit programs are the most common uses for your SIN. You do not have to use your SIN to prove your identity, complete a job or lease or rent application or completing any bank transactions. If you feel that that providing your SIN isn’t necessary, be sure to ask why it is being requested, how it will be used and whom it will be shared with.
In cases where you are concerned that someone is using your SIN fraudulently, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.