Data breach Damage Control: Equifax, Your Credit Score What to Do to Protect Your InformationCanada Credit Cares
Have you been affected by the Equifax data breach? Are you worried your credit score will be affected? How does this incident affect the protection of your credit?
Rest assured, you are not alone. Thousands of Canadians are a part of the security breach last summer and over 145 million people in total. Some of the information stolen includes personal addresses, driver’s license numbers, birthdays, Social Insurance numbers and Social Security numbers.
According to Global News, with the information that was taken, it is enough for the thieves to literally “hijack” the identities of millions of people, and cause near-irreparable damage to their lives.
If you haven’t taken any steps yet to protect your personal finance, information, finances or score since the security breach yet, don’t worry.
We’ve compiled a list of what you should do, whether a part of the Equifax credit security breach or not.
- See if you’ve been affected in Canada or the United States. Check your current accounts for anything unauthorized. Report right away if you see anything.
- Been a victim of the breach or a victim of financial fraud in the past? You can take steps to protect your personal credit and score.
- Check your credit report periodically. Your financial activity can change over time, and it reflects on the report.
- Set up an identity fraud alert as soon as possible. Freeze your credit if you are in the United States. Use Equifax credit freeze if it applies. The rules are different wherever you are in Canada and the United States though, so ensure you take the correct steps.
- Receive a free credit report and remove any errors. Then check the report again. Errors can happen more often than some would think. It will help you get better rates and essentially show you how to save money. The best personal finance is keeping track, and making sure it is all correct. Most bureaus give you a free annual report. Here’s the Equifax free report. Go to one, then another a few months later.
- Change all of your passwords regularly for all of your personal accounts – whether it be for your bank accounts, social media, anything. Doing it too often is not a bad thing! This website https://haveibeenpwned.com/ checks if you email, or even if your username has been breached before.
- You will want to get rid of any old documents with personal information on it. Old bank statements, online shopping documents, bills, etc. Shred it! Have a bonfire! You’ll feel better afterward.
- Also, you should start thinking more about your economic future and repairing that pesky credit. Start to bring up your credit, learn how to get past your bad loans, ways to make money, what is a good score, and how to maintain good numbers.
Last but not least: Hope that Santa posts his credit card information on the internet one day!