The personal details of over 75 million South Africans was recently leaked in the Deeds Data Breach – including ID numbers, contact details, addresses, and income estimates.
This has opened up the majority of South Africans to identity theft risk, which could ultimately lead to new accounts and fraudulent lines of credit being opened up in your name.
Security researcher Troy Hunt was alerted to the leak of a massive database called ‘Master Deeds’, which originated from the main web server of Jigsaw Holdings, which handles several property brands.
- Investigate the impact: Investigate the level that your PII has been affected and the extent to which your personal details have been compromised.
- Set up alerts: Build your awareness by setting up alerts that notify you of any changes on your customer profile and of attempts to access your credit status or to set up new lines of credit so that you can stop fraudsters in their tracks.
- Change all passwords: Shut out attempts at logging into your accounts by changing all of your usernames, passwords and security questions, including those linked to your social media accounts and especially those accounts linked to your financial transactions.
- Shut down access: Contact all relevant institutions handling your sensitive PII, including your credit providers, medical aid, doctor’s office, and educational institutions to instruct them not to take any action on your account unless they’re dealing with you in person. It may seem extreme but is an important step to dissuading and blocking would-be identity thieves.
- Engage with institutions: By making yourself heard and by ensuring accountability, you can make a meaningful impact to building the necessary safeguards that are needed from these institutions to prevent massive data breaches like this from happening again.
Identity theft statistics show that there are over 15 million victims a year amounting to over $50 billion in damages, making it one of the fastest growing crimes, so it is critical to take the steps outlined above.
ThisIsMe has released a compromised data investigation tool to assist you in gauging the extent to which your PII has been compromised.
The tool will also help you to set up the alerts you need on your profile to monitor your credit status.
You can gain early access to ThisIsMe’s latest tools when you register a user profile.
Additionally, your ThisIsMe profile will allow you to verify people when trading online, control your identity data across their merchant partner network, and avoid wasting time with FICA admin.
ThisIsMe gives you complete control over your identity data, who you share it with and who has access to it.
It’s easy to use, intuitive interface, affords you complete control over your identity data.
To find out more about how best to navigate this massive data breach, you can register your free ThisIsMe profile here.
This article was published in partnership with ThisIsMe.