On July 29th, Equifax discovered a data breach that potentially impacted 143 million individuals, primarily in the US. The unauthorized access of data occurred from mid-May through July 2017. For those that don’t know, Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency in the United States and is considered of the three largest American credit agencies, along with Experian and TransUnion. The data breach not only included personal information such as Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses and driver license numbers, but also 200,000+ people had their credit card information stolen.
Many will be impacted by this data breach. What should be your next steps? First determine if your information was compromised. You can check directly on Equifax’s website by clicking here.
If you are one of the millions impacted, Equifax is offering free credit monitoring through TrustedID Premier. You can sign up here to begin enrollment. TrustedID Premier provides the following services:
- Equifax Credit Report ( a copy of your Equifax Credit Report)
- Credit File Monitoring (automated alerts from all 3 credit reporting agencies)
- Equifax Credit Report Lock (prevents anyone from accessing your Equifax credit report)
- Social Security Number Monitoring (searches the dark web for your Social Security number)
- $1M Identity Theft Insurance (helps pay for certain out-of-pocket expenses in the event you are a victim of identity theft)
In addition to enrolling in TrustedID Premier, you may also consider the following:
- Review your bank and credit card statements to determine any fraudulent activities.
- Contact your credit card companies and ask them to cancel your old cards and send new ones.
- Obtain all three (Equifax, Experian & TransUnion) credit reports throughcom. This service is free if you haven’t already used it within the last year.
- Ask each of the three major credit reporting agencies to place a 90-day fraud alert (or freeze) on your credit. Be careful doing this if you are preparing to make large purchases using credit. If you are, you will have to lift the freeze prior to making your purchase.
Equifax inserted new language to their website FAQ section that reads: