Equifax Data Breach – What It Means For You
Last week, Equifax announced a data breach that could affect 143 million consumers. The compromised information includes names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. In addition, Equifax also announced that credit card numbers for roughly 209,000 U.S. customers were exposed, as well as personal information for roughly 182,000 customers involved in credit report disputes.
The breach occurred from mid-May to July. Equifax discovered the breach on July 29.
To read the Equifax press release regarding the incident, please click this link: https://investor.equifax.com/news-and-events/news/2017/09-07-2017-213000628.
From the press release: “Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection.”
In the event that hackers have your information, here are some steps you should follow to protect your identity:
- KNOW BEFORE YOU DISCLOSE. – Never respond to text messages, emails, or phone calls from companies alleging to be your bank, government officials, or business representatives that request your banking ID, account numbers, username, or password.
- A GOOD OFFENSE IS THE BEST DEFENSE. – Make sure your system is running the latest security software, web browser, and operation system to defend against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
- CONNECT WITH CAUTION. – Sensitive information should only be sent over websites with “https://” in the URL because these sites encrypt transmissions.
- LOCK IT UP TIGHT. – Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password, and update it periodically.
- OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE. – Value and protect your personal information, particularly your date of birth and social security number. Share it thoughtfully and sparingly, and remember to take great care when posting about yourself and others online.
- HELP TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME. – Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrimes to your local law enforcement or state attorney general.
- MONITOR YOUR ACCOUNTS. – Consumers should monitor their accounts and report any unusual activity to their bank.
The Federal Trade Commission provides a list of additional steps to follow if you believe your identity has been stolen.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us here or give us a call at 1-877-672-4543.