You may have heard that Equifax recently suffered a massive data breach that resulted in the loss of personally identifiable information for approximately 143 million customers. As one of the three big credit reporting agencies, this includes name, address, social security number, and birth date for nearly half of all Americans.
What is Being Done to Resolve this Breach & What Are Your Options?
Equifax is offering free credit monitoring to anyone in the US for one full year. Many of you may already have something similar in place as the result of previous data breaches from other organizations. If not, this is a good opportunity to better protect yourself. Also, consider sharing this information with your colleagues, friends, and family in case they don’t already have monitoring in place.
Additional information on this program is available at the following Equifax site – https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. There, you can check to see if you may have been impacted by the breach, and sign up for the program if you choose to.
Be aware that this type of event is an opportune time for malicious actors to launch phishing campaigns. If you receive any email claiming to be from Equifax and includes links to update or confirm information, please be vigilant in examining the sender information and any links contained in the email.
A good read on the breach and Equifax’s response is available from the well-respected security researcher, Brian Krebs. His thoughts can be found here: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/breach-at-equifax-may-impact-143m-americans/. This also includes very helpful information on credit monitoring vs. a credit freeze.