Equifax Tells Canadians to do More to Protect their Data
Despite their new image as a failed cybersecurity company, Equifax is warning Canadians to do more to protect their data.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 15, 2019
Equifax, the company that two U.S. Congressional investigations accused of having poor security after suffering a huge data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of people, is now concerned ordinary Canadians aren't doing enough to keep financial information secure.
In a survey released this week, Equifax Canada said fewer Canadians are double-checking their financial statements, shredding personal documents, or installing secure software on their computers despite the increased threat of fraud and identity theft.
“It seems that complacency is setting in for some people when we actually need to be more vigilant than ever in the fight against fraud,” Tara Zecevic, Equifax Canada’s vice-president of fraud prevention and identity management said in a release accompanying the survey.
The survey release comes just one eek after a U.S. Senate subcommittee released a highly critical report into the 2017 incident that made the personal information of 145 million Americans and 19,000 Canadians vulnerable to cybercriminals. Not only that, vulnerability scans failed to detect that the urgency needed to patch Apache Struts web framework hadn't been installed - in part because the IT departments didn't know a server was using a vulnerable version.
Zecevic said the Equifax Canada survey came after seeing an increase in credit card fraud. This was the second annual survey. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were questioned this year.
The survey found that consumers were doing more in two areas: sharing less on social media (up 43 percent from 39 percent from the previous year) and more people are checking their credit reports (up to 28 percent from 21 percent). Surprisingly, the report said, millennials checked their credit reports more than any other age group (29 percent).
However, only 35 percent of respondents (and 22 percent of millennials) said they install and/or update security software on your personal computer. And only 49 percent (39 percent of millennials) said they regularly update their security passwords. This last may not be serious; experts say as long as a password is strong enough it isn’t necessary to change passwords over short periods as previously recommended.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.