Read this if your personal data was leaked in the Vastaamo data system break-in

Petri Mulari
Atte Varis, director of the Finnish Red Cross preparedness group of psychologists
Image: Petri Mulari
Help for victims of data leaks
  • FRC helpline 0800 100 200, 9 am–9 pm
  • Victim Support Finland, 116 006, in Finnish Mon–Fri 9 am–8 pm and in Swedish 12 noon–2 pm
  • RIKUchat on weekdays 9 am–3 pm, also on Mondays 5–7 pm. The chat can be found at riku.fi/chat
  • MIELI Mental Health Finland’s crisis helpline around the clock 09 2525 0111
  • The church’s helpline 0400 22 11 80 every day 6–12 midnight
  • Your local crisis centre and social and health care crisis emergency service
  • The on-duty priest in your municipality and the church’s crisis emergency service
  • The Sekasin chat of the Red Cross and MIELI Mental Health Finland for young people, Mon–Fri 9 am–12 midnight, weekends 3–12 midnight SEKASIN.FI
  • Psychotherapy Center Vastaamo’s website 

You have encountered a shocking situation due to the data system break-in targeted at Psychotherapy Center Vastaamo. The data leak can evoke a range of strong thoughts and emotions that are completely normal in this situation.

You may experience feelings of disbelief, distress, fear, anger, shame, and being threatened, as well as a great many other emotions, depending on your situation. You may also recall the things that led you to come to Vastaamo in the first place.

‘A wide range of emotions is normal in this type of situation. There is no need to panic if you temporarily experience sudden and strong emotions,’ says Atte Varis, director of the Finnish Red Cross preparedness group of psychologists.

An online leak of your personal data undermines your trust in the parties that offer help. All of this may affect your willingness to seek help in this situation. Remember that you are not alone!

Seeking help is always a brave thing to do, and you should never have to suffer for it or be ashamed of it.

‘Being able to process your emotions with the people close to you or an expert is important. Analysing your emotions may help you move forwards. This is why you should find the courage to seek help,’ Varis says. 

Do not yield to the extortionist’s demands
 
The extortionist’s objective is to scare you and get you to act in their interests. Do not yield to the extortionist’s demands, even if the situation feels threatening. Instructions for reporting a crime to the police (in Finnish). 
 
You can protect your data from misuse by following the instructions issued by the authorities. Advice from the National Cyber Security Centre for victims of identity theft or data breaches and questions and answers about the topic
 

You are not alone 

Data leaks and online scams have become more common. Anyone can find themselves the target of a data leak: you are not alone in this situation.
Seeking help is a brave thing to do, and it is wrong for anyone to have to suffer for it. The spread of your personal data is a crime. What to do if your personal data has been leaked online.
 

Help is available

A data leak may affect your willingness to seek help in this situation. However, please remember that help and advice are available. The people close to you are always your most important source of support, but you can also receive help from other parties.

Visit the Tietovuotoapu website to find a compilation of instructions prepared by authorities and aid organisations for victims of data leaks. The website is being updated continuously.