Equifax, the credit reporting giant, announced Thursday that they were hacked sometime between mid-May and July of this year. The breach exposed the information of an ‘unknown’ number of people living in Canada and the UK. They have yet to reveal how many Canadians had their personal information hacked over the Spring and Summer.
Hackers were able to get names, SIN’s, birth dates, addresses, credit card information and some driver license numbers. That is enough information to fill out a mortgage application or get a credit card for example.
Equifax said it will send direct mail notices to consumers that were impacted. They have also established a website where people can check if their personal information was stolen.
If you find your information has been compromised, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft;
- Monitor your Equifax score
- Watch your credit inquiry (anytime a potential lender checks your credit i.e. credit card company)
- Freeze your credit reports (this restricts access to your credit report)
- If your SIN was stolen, file a police report
- Check your credit card statements
- Alerts banks and strengthen your passwords
Although they haven’t released the number of Canadians affected, they did state that nearly 143 million people were affected in the US.
Here is a fresh-from-the-press Current Events template to safeguard against inevitable Equifax-themed phishing campaigns by the bad guys: (courtesy of KnowBe4)