This year Canadians have fallen victim to massive data breaches, with some of the largest being Equifax, Capital One and Desjardins Group. SIN numbers are one of the primary pieces of data collected by these hackers because with your SIN plus your name, fraudulent identities and requests for credit can be made.
Major corporations, will typically mail you a letter to let you know about the breach, and what they plan to do about it. But, it’s up to you to stay alert and monitor your financial accounts and credit file.
If you think you’ve been impacted, check your online banking and credit file every day or two and report any suspicious activity to both the institution where your account is located as well as the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Next, you can ask the credit bureaus to lock, and put an alert on your file. This should prevent fraudulent inquiries for credit. You’ll need to lift that lock if you actually need a credit check to be performed.
Monitoring your credit report and financial accounts is simply a good financial habit all of the time. So add it to your regular routine. And rest assured, corporations and the Canadian government are hot on the heels of better cyber protection, which should improve the protection of your personal information.
Have a financial question or topic suggestion for our eNewsletter? Our team would love to hear from you! Submit your financial questions today by emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org