01/24/2014 11:50 EST | Updated 03/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Target offers free credit monitoring to say sorry for hack

Target is apologizing to its Canadian customers for a high-profile security breach at U.S. stores by offering a year of free credit monitoring at its expense.

"Because we value you as a guest and your trust is important to us, Target is offering you one year of free credit monitoring through the Equifax Complete Advantage Plan," Target told some of its Canadian customers in an email Friday.

Before the Christmas holiday, the retailer revealed that the names, email addresses, mailing addresses and some payment information for as many as 70 million customers may have been stolen in a sophisticated computer hack.

Well under 1 per cent of the customers affected were Canadian, Target says.

The company has been scrambling ever since to assure its customers that its networks are safe and secure.

The credit monitoring offer is the latest part of that plan. 

Free credit monitoring

Although the email only went to Target customers, it appears as though anyone is able to take advantage of the offer, whether or not their data was stolen or whether or not they were even a Target customer in the first place.

"Target is reaching out to Canadians who may have been impacted to provide them with a promotional code that they need to enter when they sign up for the one year of free credit monitoring," Target spokesperson Lisa Gibson said. 

Target is telling its customers to go to Equifax's website and enter 850461571022 in the promotional field. That type of monitoring service from Equifax normally costs $14.95 a month.

In addition to providing updates on your credit score, the Equifax service will also alert you to any changes to your file, such as an unauthorized attempt to open new credit accounts in your name without your knowledge.

Anyone wishing to take advantage must sign up by April 30, Target said.

"We are truly sorry this incident occurred and sincerely regret any inconvenience it may cause you," the email reads.