Economy

How to Protect Your Personal Information After Equifax Hack

Yesterday, Equifax, one of the nation's largest credit-reporting companies, released a statement saying a massive cybersecurity breach this summer compromised the personal information of nearly 143 million Americans, CNN reported.

Equifax will send paper mail to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personally identifying information were impacted.

Equifax on Thursday said it was the victim of a cyber breach beginning in May that saw the personal data of as many as 143 million Americans taken by unidentified thieves.

Equifax's statement says the company shut down the unauthorized access immediately when it discovered it.

According to the Equifax announcement, the information involved includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers. "I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes", said Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith.

"Cybercriminals would like to have enough information about you that they can in effect become you, and Equifax possesses that quantity and quality of data", said Geers.

"According to Equifax, "(c) riminals exploited a website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files".

Check with Equifax. At www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/, click on "Check Potential Impact", then enter your last name and the final six digits of your Social Security number.

Equifax has set up a website, EquifaxSecurity2017.com, to let you know if your information was stolen. Equifax says you can opt out of that arbitration agreement by writing to them.

In an effort to counteract the cyber breach's negative fallout, Equifax Chairman and CEO Rick Smith announced that the company is offering all US customers a "package of identity theft protection and credit file monitoring at no cost".

Equifax hasn't explained why it waited from July to September to notify consumers.

Shield your credit. If you haven't obtained your free annual credit reports in the past 12 months, now is a good time to do it.

She added, "The most important thing to do is stay calm, contact all three credit agencies and get a credit report". "Every breach leaves consumers exposed and vulnerable to identity theft, fraud and a host of other crimes, and they deserve answers".

Consumers can also check credit scores for free once a year.



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