- On September 7, 2017, Equifax first reported a massive breach of customer information.
We recently discovered a cybersecurity incident involving consumer information. Once discovered, we acted immediately to stop the intrusion.
— Equifax Inc. (@Equifax) September 7, 2017
What do we know about this massive breach as of September 8th morning?
- Equifax estimates about 143 million customers, that is 45% of the US population. So about 2 out of every 5 US resident is affected.
From Equifax’s CEO, Rick Smith.
The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed. As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents. Equifax will work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps. The company has found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted.
Read More here
What do I do now?
There are a few things you can do:
- Watch your credit and transaction like a hawk. Pay close attention to alerts from your bank and financial institutions.
- Watch for your medical transactions. You can see some great tips put out by Federal Trade Commission to identify Medical Identity Theft here.
- Equifax has offered to provide Free Identity Theft Protection and Credit File Monitoring to All U.S. Consumers. Sign up for Credit Monitoring here: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/
- Lock down your SSN. This is a great step to making sure your SSN is not being used by others. In order to be able to lock down your SSN you will need to verify your citizenship status on e-verify. Once verified this portal will allow you to create an account. Once created, you will be able to lock your SSN.
- Put a credit freeze. There are three credit reporting companies who have to be contacted separately to put a freeze on your social security number and credit. FTC has a detailed information about credit freeze in this article.Contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies:
You’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10 for up to a year. You will receive a PIN from each company to lift the freeze.
How does this compare to other breaches?
Even though this breach is massive, experts in the security business estimate that the number of sensitive information that has leaked over the last decade is more than 143 million. Which means, that most users who’s information was leaked with this breach may already have their information floating in the internet. In a way, this should make you consider more secure methods and best security practices when accessing financial information.
What else can I do to make my digital life secure?
Check out the following list of articles that will help you understand and guide you to more secure and safer computing.
- Article 1: 3 Steps to Boost your security
- Article 2: Creating unique passwords and also remembering them!
- Article 3: 5 Signs that you may have received a Phishing Email
- Article 4: Best Can be Free – Antivirus for your Digital Devices
- Article 5: Collection of Definitions of Various Threat Types
LOOK, READ, STOP & THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK!
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