Advice and guidance for victims of data breaches

On this page, victims of identity theft or data breaches will find up-to-date advice and guidance, with links to helpful information published on the websites of authorities and other organisations. The site is constantly updated.

First steps for victims of the Vastaamo data breach

 

If you suspect that you may have fallen victim to the data breach, or if you received an extortion message, take the following steps:

Take care of yourself

  • Don't panic. It is possible that all the kinds of personal data discussed in relation to the data breach have not leaked in your case. You are not alone, and help is available.
  • If you currently have an ongoing treatment relationship with a healthcare professional, contact your doctor or therapist and arrange further treatment. It is important to ensure that currently ongoing treatment continues.
  • If you need treatment, contact the emergency social and crisis services or municipal health centre of your municipality of residence.

Collect evidence

  • If you have received an extortion message, take a screenshot of it and save it on your computer for a future investigation. Also make sure to keep the original message.

Do not pay the demanded ransom or otherwise communicate with the extortionist

  • Paying the ransom helps perpetuate criminal activity. There are no guarantees that the cyber criminal will stop extorting you or refrain from publishing your personal information even if you pay the ransom.
  • Do not communicate with the extortionist. It is probable that the information has already been leaked.

File a report with the police regarding the data breach and/or extortion

Consider the following when filing a report of an offence:

  • Include the word “Vastaamo”.
  • Mention to whom the possible extortion message was addressed.
  • If your personal data has leaked and you know where it may have been published, include this information.
  • Include information on any ransom demands, the stated method of payment and account number(s).
  • Mention whether you have paid any demanded ransom.

Consider Police Net tip if you have other important information about this criminal case 

Notify the National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI) of the information security breach

Apply for a personal credit ban

Apply to Posti for a free-of-charge ban on address changes

Apply to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office for a free-of-charge registration ban

  • A registration ban helps prevent anyone from using your personal data to designate you as the responsible person of a company in the Trade Register, for example.

Change your password and enable two-factor authentication

  • Ensure that all of your passwords are sufficiently long.
  • Use two-factor authentication.

Review the terms of your insurance contracts

  • Certain providers’ home insurance plans include limited legal assistance for victims of identity theft. You may have the right to compensation under the General Data Protection Regulation.

File an inspection request with Vastaamo regarding your personal data

  • Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have the right to know what personal data Vastaamo has stored on you.
  • Contact Vastaamo directly via the inspection request form (External link) on the Vastaamo website (to be translated).

 

Have your information removed from any billing services and place a ban on their use

  • Billing services such as Klarna may allow the purchase of products by invoice with very little personal information required. You can ask the billing service to delete your information on the basis of the “right to be forgotten” provided by the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • The contact details of billing services can generally be found on their websites (e.g. in the privacy statement).

Contact your mobile operator to prohibit the disclosure of your address information and the modification of your information without the presentation of official identification

  • Customers of mobile operators including DNA, Telia and Elisa can request that the disclosure of their personal information be prohibited.
  • At a minimum, such a request should be made concerning address information.
  • Changes related to the situations in which official identification is required can only be made in person at your operator's service point.

Ask that your information be removed from search engine results

When the most important steps have been taken, you may also want to consider the following:

      The above advice is based on a checklist published by the Community Cyber Response Force for those victims of the data breach who were Vastaamo customers before 2019.

      The detailed checklist for the victims of Vastaamo data breach (External link) is also available in English.

      Questions and answers for those whose information has leaked online

      Vastaamo 

      Vastaamo is currently working with a number of authorities. In compliance with its obligations under relevant data protection legislation, Vastaamo will inform all customers whose data has been targeted by the information security breach.

      What should I do if my personal data has leaked online?

      Victim Support Finland

      Victim Support Finland provides help and support for the victims of the Vastaamo data breach and their loved ones.

      Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman

      Community Cyber Response Force

      The Community Cyber Response Force is a volunteer organisation formed by approximately 30 Finnish cyber security experts, which helps providers of critical services resolve and prevent cyber threats.

      Mannerheim League for child well fare

      If you are experiencing anxiety, fear or sadness you can contact Mannerheim League for child well fare also. You can seek help anonymously. Your references won't be recorded. 

      Who can help? See below for organisations providing assistance

      MIELI Mental Health Finland

      Ministry of Social Affairs and Health


      Municipalities’ emergency social and crisis services

      • Emergency telephone numbers accept calls 24/7.
      • The calls and services are free of charge.
      • For contact details, see the website of your municipality of residence.
      • You can call the emergency social and crisis services if you are experiencing anxiety, fear or sadness. They can also help you assess your need for other services or crisis assistance.
      • If you need longer-term support, they can direct you to other municipal services.
      • You can seek help yourself, or a loved one can do it on your behalf.

      Are you in need of telephone or chat counselling?

      • For a list of organisations providing counselling services, see the “Find Help” page on this website.