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March 05, 2022

Sharing isn't always a good thing

Remember when you were little how you were always taught that it's good to share?

Oh sure, it's always polite to share your toys or cookies.

But as we get older we are now finding out that it may not be such a good thing -- especially when it comes to sharing our personal and financial information on the Internet.

A recent study by Visa Canada revealed that many Canadians are in fact "oversharing" their financial information over their computers and cellphones which could put them at a greater risk for fraud.

Out of the various age groups polled, it appears that young Canadians (32 per cent) were the most likely to overshare their personal information such as their email address, mailing address, birthday or phone number over social networking sites.

The older we get the wiser we get -- or so it seems. The survey found that 24 per cent of those polled aged 31-45 also admitted to sharing their personal information. Baby Boomers, aged 46 to 65, also engaged in the same risky behaviour (14 per cent); while just nine per cent of seniors (66 and older) said they divulged their personal information online.

Young adults were also listed as the group that was most likely to share their Personal Identification Number (PIN) and lend their credit and debit cards to others.

Sharing personal and financial information could put you at greater risk of identity theft and other scams that are currently out there.

Even though seniors are less likely to share their information online, scammers are out there to specifically target their group through fraudulent phone calls, emails and letters designed to solicit their personal and financial data.

Gord Jamieson, Head of Payment Risk, Visa Canada, has this to say, "This year's survey reveals that Canadians of all ages have bad habits that impede their ability to protect themselves against financial fraud. Young adults need to better understand the risk associated with oversharing personal and financial data, while seniors need to better understand that talking about fraud with someone they trust can help protect them from becoming a victim, helping them learn about risks and how they can protect themselves."

March is Fraud Prevention Month. The Government of Canada has a few tips on how you can learn to protect yourself.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Have you ever shared your personal and financial information through email and texting? Do you have concerns about "oversharing" your personal and financial data?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...