Did you hear about this? You actually may not have. I’m amazed at how quiet this thing was. I happened to hear it on the news station while at physical therapy yesterday. Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency. Equifax collects information on over 800 million individuals worldwide. It is the oldest of the three largest American credit agencies along with Experian and TransUnion. This is where credit scores come from. The Equifax data breach may have exposed private information for almost half of the US population. Yet it was quiet and hit the news quietly because of two hurricanes. Talk about strategically informing the public. The company was aware of the breach 40 days before they told the world. If that wasn’t bad enough 3 Equifax executives sold off some of their stock after the hacking incident but before the announcement was made to the public. The cyber attack is said to have impacted 143 million consumers. What can you do?
This is the website that has all the information about the cyber attack. Plus any updates the company has. They are offering free monitoring of your social security for a year from fraudulent accounts be opened. However the argument there is do we want the same company who had the breach doing the monitoring? If you click on the site there is a option for Potential Impact. You enter your Last name and last 6 digits of your social security and it will tell you if you have been impacted. From there you’ll see an enroll button.
The last screen tells you the last step is to verify enrollment through an email that was sent. The email could be delayed due to the high traffic being received. Needless to say, I signed up yesterday afternoon and I HAVE NOT received an email nor has anything gone into my junk file. The company originally had that if you enrolled in the free monitoring you COULD NOT, take any legal action against them. This has since been removed from the terms and conditions of enrollment.
This was really no joke so please go to the website and see if you’ve been breached. Unfortunately this “free monitoring” that Equifax is offering is only for one year but the people responsible for the cyber attack have your social security and birthdate. Two pieces of information that do not change and are needed to open new credit. It’s very easy to wait a year, 2 years, ten years, etc. My guess is now monitoring your credit through social security and places like Lifelock and Identy Guard will pop up everywhere and everyone will now need to be enrolled in one. Unfortunately if you were part of this breach, you’ll never be safe.