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Experian data breach and what it means for you

By: Bidvest Insurance

What happened?

Experian recently reported that an individual in South Africa, posing as a legitimate client, fraudulently requested services from Experian that involved the release of personal information.

The suspect intended to use this data to create marketing leads to offer credit-related services. The data included first and last names, ID numbers, telephone numbers, physical addresses and email addresses.

How was it rectified?

Experian quickly identified the suspect and later confirmed that the individual’s hardware was impounded and the misappropriated data was being secured and deleted from the suspect’s hardware. Experian is continuing the legal process in this regard, including coordination with law enforcement and relevant authorities.

What it means for you?

As a precaution, Experian has advised anyone that may be concerned to regularly check their credit report. You can do this by visiting www.mycreditcheck.co.za where at any time you can access your personal credit report for free.

South African banks have also sent out notifications warning their clients to exercise caution following this incident, and have advised customers to change their online and app-based banking passwords as a precaution. 

In addition, be sure to keep an eye on all your banking activity, and ensure you have SMS alerts set up, so you can spot any abnormal transactions.

It’s always good to be cautious when online. Never open any attachments or links that you’re unsure of, as there are many scams out there that will try and trick you into opening these fraudulent links in an attempt to steal your personal data. 

Can you get insurance to protect you? 

Bidvest Insurance has developed a Cyber Rescue product that provides cover for private individuals in the event of a cyberattack. It is designed to protect you when events like these occur. 

The anti-virus software provided with each policy is the first line of defense, but if an attacker manages to infiltrate your information and get access to your banking details, Cyber Rescue provides financial cover in the event of funds being stolen from your account. 

The product also provides a host of other benefits, including a 24/7 IT helpline to help you navigate everyday technical challenges; cyber restoration if your device has been hacked to ensure that all threats are removed; as well as legal assistance in the event of cyber liability on your part.  

In keeping with the modern world of connected social media, we also cover cyberbullying, which has become an increasing problem.

With South Africa currently having the third-highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide – the country losing R2.2 billion a year to cyberattacks – it makes sense to get protected and ensure you are not at risk.

Visit www.bidvestinsurance.co.za for more information.




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