Equifax, one of the nations three credit reporting bureau’s has announced a data breach that was identified on July 29, 2017. This data breach is significant for several reasons.
- Because Equifax is a credit bureau, you could be a victim even if you have never heard of or been contacted by, Equifax.
- Again, because Equifax is a credit bureau, they may have all of your personally identifiable information (PII) necessary for identity theft and/or credit fraud.
- This breach has potentially exposed PII for up to 143 million American’s, more than half the population.
- As a company that specializes in receiving and compiling credit data on all consumers, the company is highly sensitive to data security, yet it was breached.
To check to see if you may have been impacted, you may visit the following link, where Equifax will let you know if your information has been exposed and will give you the option to enroll in free identity monitoring. You should check this immediately.
Equifax’s full notification of this breach may be reviewed here. While Equifax’s notification is focused on reassuring consumers that no information has been found to be in the hands of hackers, other news reports are raising a far more urgent sense of concern. Some of these reports suggest that 200,00 or more credit card numbers have been leaked as well as PII of up to 180,000 + individuals.
Equifax is taking prudent steps to try to identify those impacted. If you are impacted, you will receive a notification in the mail. Again, because you may not even be aware of the company, don’t just toss the mail as junk.
Again, check the link above to see if you have been impacted and check all of your account statements frequently, ideally weekly, to look for any suspicious activity. If you are concerned about issues like this, you should also consider signing up for a service like PrivacyGuard, to keep watch on your identity and credit and alert you to any items that may be a concern.