Equifax recently announced the breach that occurred from mid-May through July this year, affecting an estimated 143 million consumers in the U.S. Hackers gained access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, drivers' license numbers.
We are urging those affected by this event and others to take protecting your identity very seriously.
The data breach made major headlines, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner is investigating and people in Canada and the US are filing class action lawsuits.
The company and its competitors, TransUnion and Experian, gauge how much of a risk people are for borrowing money. Morfeld sent a letter to Equifax CEO Richard Smith calling for the company to comply with a Nebraska law requiring businesses to notify residents of security breaches that expose personal information. "I want to know exactly how that happened, but more immediately, I am concerned about the confusion that you have caused for consumers". So, if you contact them to see if your information was breached you may or may not be getting the most accurate information.
-Check the Equifax website under "Potential Impact" to see if you've been compromised.
You're also advised to keep an eye on your bank account and other finances.
But a credit freeze is problematic for people who need to keep their credit report open as they need to secure a loan, perhaps buy a home or a vehicle.
Find out if your information was compromised by the Equifax breach: Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to find out if you have been impacted.
Monitor your credit reports.
If you think the call is really from a legitimate company, offer to call back - but make sure to check for the phone number yourself, either online or in your records. The company has been overwhelmed by requests by consumers to freeze their credit, which temporarily knocked the system offline Wednesday.
The FTC news sent Equifax stock tumbling 8 percent on Thursday morning, though it had rebounded some by midday. It also said there was no evidence that the breach involved its "core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases".
"To put a freeze on you have to go through all three bureaus independently", said Kyle Cronin, "Right now for South Dakotans there is a charge of $10 per agency and you have to go to each agency".
Enroll in free credit monitoring services.
The first thing you should consider in the wake of the nation's most recent data breach is freezing your credit.