Equifax Cybersecurity Breach – How to Protect Yourself
On September 7th, 2017, Equixfax Inc announced a cybersecurity incident that impacts approximately 143 million U.S consumers. Through a website breach, hackers were able to access names, social security numbers, birth dates, address, credit card numbers, and personal documents. Equifax discovered the hack on June 29th, 2017 and immediately acted to stop the breach.
“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith. “We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations. We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.”
How You Can Protect Yourself
- Equifax has created a website where consumers can check to see if their information has been compromised and included complimentary credit reporting and further steps to protect yourself from hacking.
- Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to check your security.
- Current reporting suggests that Equifax is NOT contacting consumers directly to notify them of the breach. That means that any emails you receive from someone claiming to be Equifax are likely a phishing attack.
- Check your credit report on an annual basis. The only website to access this for FREE is www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Monitor all of your account transactions regularly and stay vigilant.
- Consider signing up for identity protection, which goes beyond just tracking your credit scores and existing lines of credit. While none of these companies are 100% guaranteed to keep you safe, below are some of the industry’s better companies.
- Consider freezing your credit! This prevents new loans and credit cards from being opened under your social security number. If you end up needing a new loan (for a new house, car etc), you can unfreeze it. You can initiate a security freeze at the following sites –
- Attached is our Cyber Security Guide for Clients, which has a plenty of helpful information about how to protect your personal data.