On September 7th, Equifax announced a cyber-security breach that affected millions of customers from the US, Canada and the UK.
They first learned of the incident on July 29th and a subsequent investigation showed that files were accessed from mid-May through July 2017.
Breached information includes names, addresses, social insurance/security numbers and in some cases credit cards. They believe the hackers gained access though an exploited vulnerability in a US website application.
It is believed approximately 8000 Canadians may have been affected. Equifax has stated on their website that they will not be sending out unsolicited emails or phone calls. Equifax has provided the information to financial institutions so they can get in touch with their customers.
What can you do to safeguard your accounts?
- Monitor your bank and credit cards regularly. If you notice anything out of the ordinary contact your financial institution right away.
- Set up email or text alerts on your account that will alert you when there is activity on your account.
- Change your passwords regularly for email or other accounts that hold personal information.
Canadians affected will also receive 12 months free credit monitoring and identity theft protection from Equifax. In addition you can set up fraud alerts on your accounts with your financial institution which will send up a flag when someone tries to open a credit account in your name, or make changes to existing accounts.
On their website they have posted the following message “You will still be notified by us independently by mail and have the opportunity to enroll in our complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection service”.
Bouw, B. (2017, September 20). The latest: What you need to know after the Equifax breach. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/householdfinances/the-latest-what-you-need-to-know-after-the-equifax-security breach/article36323162/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&
Equifax. (2017). Update on Equifax Cybersecurity Incident. Retrieved from https://www.consumer.equifax.ca
Tammy Malone is a Client Support Specialist at Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Tammy can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to www.triella.com/whats-new/. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Webroot Reseller.
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