Equifax, a consumer credit-reporting company, has revealed that there was a breach on its systems, which exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans. The information compromised consists of: credit card information, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license numbers. The breach occurred from mid-May through July 29.
Like most of you, we are frustrated. How are organizations continuously hacked and allowed to expose our personal information? Doesn’t make sense and it is infuriating. But we are here for you as we were impacted too.
Six Steps To Do After Equifax Hack
Check to see if you were affected
First you need to check to see if you were hacked. Go to: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. After you log into the site, click on the “potential impact” where you will need to enter your name and last six figures of your Social Security number. Equifax will let you know if you are one of the 143 million Americans affected.
Sign up for a credit monitoring service
A complimentary monitoring service known as TrustedID Premier is being offered by Equifax. Services include:
- Monitoring of social security number
- Credit report from Equifax
- Credit report lock
- Monitoring of 3-bureau credit file
- Theft insurance up to $1 million
The enrollment period ends Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
Examine all your accounts
You should always monitor your accounts. If you are a victim of the Equifax breach, then you need to check your personal paperwork even more. Check statements to look for strange activity. Report it immediately to your financial institution.
After the second hack of her personal information, a staff member at Virgo Philosophy told us she put a credit freeze on her account. This breach will be her fifth incident! A credit freeze will eliminate the possibility of someone opening a new account under your name. It will not stop fraudulent behavior on existing accounts. When you want to lift or remove the freeze, you may be required to pay a small fee (around $5) – depending on your state.
File Taxes Early
Develop a tendency of filing taxes early. Hackers and scammers may use your social security number and file under you! You can only file once under a social security number in a given year. So please do not wait until the last minute. You do not want headache dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Be Leery of Phone Calls and Emails
Never! Ever! Give personal information to anyone who call or email you. It is a scam! If you can take down information, do so and report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). But when in doubt, hang up and delete.
Please check out the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for more tips and advice. We understand your frustration. Feel free to let off some steam below in the comments.