Equifax Data Breach



Recently, Equifax announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Affected consumers are at risk of criminals using stolen information to fraudulently open accounts. This means that the most immediate (and long-term) threat with this breach is identity theft, and the best thing you can do is follow identity protection tips.

The first step you should take is to visit Equifax's website.
Equifax has a tool that can help you determine whether your data has been exposed. Click on the "Potential Impact" tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. An Equifax Call Center is also available at 866-447-7559.

Then, you should take steps to protect your identity. These include:

  • Don't respond to emails, texts or telephone calls asking for personal or financial information.
  • Frequently review account activity and immediately report unauthorized transactions
  • Consider the 1 year of free ID theft protection being offered by Equifax to all Americans
  • Place an initial fraud alert with a credit bureau, which is free and will apply to all the credit bureaus
  • Consider the benefits and drawbacks of credit freezes, which are more secure and longer-term than fraud alerts, but more restrictive. Equifax is waiving all fees until November 21 for people who want to freeze their Equifax credit files.
  • Always use multi-factor authentication when available
  • Update PIN's and passwords, including email passwords, and follow best practices (i.e.: using long and complex phrases, and never re-using passwords)
  • Enroll and opt-in for transaction monitoring
  • Use card on/off switches (if available)
It appears there were just over 200,000 credit cards among the 143 million records potentially compromised. Equifax had indicated that debit cards were not exposed - therefore criminals are unlikely to immediately have the capability to withdraw funds from a checking account.
Learn more from the Federal Trade Commission:
The Equifax Data Breach: What to do



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