Posted on October 6, 2017 by admin
Recent news of the Equifax hack and subsequent data breach potentially affecting millions of people has caused many to question if they are a victim, and how they should respond if their information has been compromised.
A lot of information, including tips and advice on how to proceed, is being shared on news sites and social media. I have collected what I believe are the most useful tips and provided links to trusted news sources with more information about this specific data breach.
The Federal Trade Commission provides an overall description of the incident and provides information on how to proceed.
The New York Times offers a detailed breakdown with important questions and answers.
Forbes has a story detailing what not to do.
Have I been affected by the hack?
Equifax created a website to check whether your information was exposed. This is the only way to determine if your information may have been compromised as the company will not alert you otherwise.
Experts advise that even if your information wasn’t exposed during this breach it is still a good idea to place a “freeze” on your credit. According to the FTC, a credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. If creditors cannot access your file, they may not extend credit. You can unfreeze (“thaw”) and re-freeze when you apply for credit.
To request a credit freeze please follow the web links below or call each company directly at the numbers provided. Please be advised, charges may apply to freeze or thaw credit.
Equifax – 1-800-685-1111
Experian – 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion – 1-888-909-8872
*When calling to set up a freeze please make sure to have a pen and paper ready as you will be issued a PIN and the number may come quickly and without sufficient warning. It may not be repeated.
*Credit agencies keep separate files on each adult so married couples need to file individually.
In addition to a credit freeze, the FTC offers these helpful steps to help protect yourself after a data breach:
Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.