On September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of the three main American credit reporting agencies, announced a massive cybersecurity incident that exposed consumer information – including names, addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers – leaving millions vulnerable to identity theft.
What can I do?
1. To check if you or anyone in your household has been affected by the breach, visit equifaxsecurity2017.com.
2. Click on “Potential Impact,” then “Check Potential Impact,” where you will be asked to provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.
3. You will receive a message indicating whether your personal information may have been impacted.
4. Whether or not your information was impacted, you have the option to sign up for free identity theft protection and credit monitoring. This can be done by clicking “Enroll,” then following the instructions to go through the enrollment process with TrustedID Premier. The free enrollment period ends November 21, 2017.
In addition to the specific actions above, there are many ways to protect your personal and financial information on an ongoing basis, including:
- Monitoring your financial, bank and credit card statements for unauthorized use
- Registering for a free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies once every 12 months by visiting annualcreditreport.com
- Establishing fraud alerts with the three major credit reporting agencies
- Keeping passwords and PINs secure
- Keeping computer security, encryption and firewall software up to date
- Using personal computers for financial transactions, avoiding public use computers
- Never giving out personal information to strangers, especially over the phone or via email
- Monitoring email, social media and online accounts for unauthorized changes
- Only clicking on email attachments from trusted sources