Thursday, 21 February 2013

HRDC Breach

I was reading My Money Journey's blog a little while ago and she was talking about the fact that she was one of almost 600,000 Canadians affected by the HRDC security breach back in January. I have to admit I had thought briefly about this, but couldn't remember whether or not I had a student loan at the time.

Well, of course I did! I was doing my carpentry training at the time and it turns out that I, too, am affected by this. I decided to call, and I spoke with a very nice lady who confirmed that I was affected, what information is "out there," and what they're doing to protect everyone. The Federal Government has arranged a 6-year contract with Equifax to protect those whose information could be at risk. The RCMP has already been given my SIN number for monitoring, but I gladly accepted the extra security. I'm not planning on any loans over the next 6 years, but who knows what will happen even 6 days from now? To prove myself at any time over the next 6 years, I'll need government issued ID (passport, driver's license, etc.) which I'm happy to comply with for my own security. Why would you NOT want to prove who you are after a massive, potential security breach like this? Sure, it could be a hassle, but if it gets too problematic, I probably don't need the loan in the first place, right?

I was assured it won't affect my credit rating and can be removed at any time, but like I say, I'm happy to comply. She mentioned that in the letters I'll be getting, there are various phone numbers, including one to call if I want a lawsuit! I'm not at all interested in following anything like that up. What purpose would that serve? It could go on for years and years and how would a monetary payout help anyway?

Let this be a reminder to us all to be more cautious about our generally lackadaisical use of personal information - particularly online - as well as that we're all human and mistakes happen.


The Asian Pear said...

sorry to hear that. it happened to me too. I paid & requested both Equifax & Transunion monitor my SIN and that both must contact me if anyone makes changes to my account. I also had Equifax send me a credit report just to make sure no accounts have been made under my name.

Marjorie said...

Glad you found that out and steps have been taken to protect you. What a mess. I have a few young friends with the same issues.
The only ones who will make anything from a class action suit are the lawyers.

Northern Living Allowance said...

Pear - I remember you were affected, too! I think it's time I contacted the credit places and got a credit report to see where things stand. I'm curious anyway! Obviously things have pushed forward somewhat since you found out. I wonder if you can get the government coverage now, instead of paying for your own?

Marjorie - me as well! Fortunately, it seems as though nothing's happened (yet), so maybe this USB stick is stuck at the bottom of a junk drawer somewhere. Still, I think they're doing all they can.

And I wholeheartedly agree with you! Lawyers will be the only ones to profit from a lawsuit. It would do me absolutely no good at all.

Jane said...

Whoa...scary! I too would be more than happy to comply with the extra security precautions. This is such a good reminder to be careful with one's identity and personal information. I know I get kind of lax sometimes. A very good message we need to hear over and over again!

hklover86 said...

Its crazy how soo many people are affected! And hey, thanks for linking to my blog, I appreciate it :)