"The service will also incorporate web and social media monitoring alerting the consumer to any publically available information about them".
The office of the privacy commissioner of Canada said Friday that Equifax had committed to contact, in writing, to the Canadians whose personal information could have been stolen, and to offer them services for free credit monitoring.
Himes strongly believe that victims should not have to bear the burden of paying for security freezes. But certified financial planner Jon L. Ten Haagen says that's not enough, and recommends that consumers immediately sign up for a security freeze, or credit freeze, with the four major credit bureaus.
Equifax may have suffered a data breach several months before the date it disclosed earlier this month for the massive hack that exposed the personal financial information for roughly half the U.S. population. Before the announcement of the breach, three executives of Equifax sold the stock of the company worth around $2 million.
The catch is it costs $10 to institute a freeze at each of the credit reporting agencies.
The watchdog said Equifax has committed to notifying all impacted Canadians in writing as soon as possible. According to Bloomberg, the credit-monitoring agency said it had complied with notification requirements pertaining to that incident.
If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, which makes it much more hard for criminals to open false accounts in your name.
Lenders rely on the information collected by credit bureaus such as Equifax to help them decide whether to approve financing for homes, cars and credit cards.
Additionally, the AGs are calling for Equifax to address complaints of long wait times and customers' inability to access its call center by staffing a 24-hour hotline and putting their phone number prominently on the company's website.
US Senator Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, described Equifax's response to the breach as "alarming", accusing the firm of "exceptionally poor cyber security practices".