What Does Equifax’s Data Breach Mean to You
Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the United States. In July 2017, they experienced a data breach that resulted in names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers of 143 million U.S. consumers being compromised. In addition, approximately 209,000 U.S. customers had credit card numbers exposed. There are an unknown number of Canadian consumers who had their information compromised.
We are all vulnerable to fraud. I checked and my information was compromised. You can take steps to protect yourself.
Here are 4 things to do to safeguard yourself:
- Review your credit reports to see if there is any unrecognized activity. Don’t forget there are three major credit reporting agencies in the United States. Make sure you check all of them for discrepancies. You can go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ to get more information about credit reports and most importantly request your free copies for the year.
- Sign up for a credit monitoring service. Equifax is offering credit monitoring services. Use the following link for more details: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
- Monitor account activity.
- Sign up for transaction alerts for all of your accounts.
- Allow yourself this checkpoint to confirm that the activity truly belongs to you.
- Also, use this as an opportunity to see if your activity is in line with your financial goals. If your actions are not going to help you reach your financial goals, reconsider them going forward.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert lasts 90 days and can be renewed thereafter. When a consumer has a fraud alert on their credit file, potential lenders are prompted to obtain additional information to validate the person’s identity.
For more information about the breach, go to https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ or call Equifax at 866-447-7559.