What You Need to Do to Protect Yourself after the Equifax Breach

by | Sep/8/2017

You may be one of the 143 million people affected by the Equifax hacking breach that was announced yesterday.

Data stolen may include contact information, dates of birth, driver’s license information, and Social Security numbers. Attackers can make money selling the information to people who could steal your identity and take out loans in your name.

Place a credit freeze on your credit report. To do so, contact all four: Experian, Innovis, Trans Union, and, you guessed it, Equifax. In total, you’ll spend less than $75 to place the freeze.

A credit freeze stops people for gaining access to your credit report. It is difficult for an imposter to borrow money if a lender cannot check a credit report first.

Remember, credit monitoring, though good, sometimes only catches bad things when it is too late.

A security freeze is more effective, and lasts longer, than a fraud alert.

Additionally, watch out for anything odd or abnormal on your bank statements. Download your credit reports every quarter to see what is on them. One way to see your credit reports is to use a service such as annualcreditreport dot com

The FTC gives suggestions about avoiding and handling identity theft at consumer.ftc dot gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft

Equifax has set up a website equifaxsecurity2017 dot com for people to see if their information was part of the breach. However, many people have been experiencing problems with that website.

Executives – FYI: Reports say that the attack did not result from social engineering. In other words, nobody clicked a bad link in an email. The attackers got in because an Equifax website was insecure. Have you had someone check the security of your website lately? If your site simply displays static information, you are at a much lower risk than if your site has a place for someone to login and/or look up information via your site.

Reports say that the breach may have happened as early as May, and Equifax discovered the breach on July 29. The time between when attackers compromise a system, and when it is discovered, is called dwell time. The best thing to do is to stop hackers from getting in to begin with. Keep security a top priority at your organization! The attackers are counting on you to overlook important steps.

Please forward this to anyone you care about…