What you need to know about the Equifax data breach

As you have likely heard, Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, recently announced a data breach. According the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the personal information of 143 million American consumers was exposed in this cybersecurity incident at Equifax. The breach occurred from mid-May through July.

During the breach, hackers gained access to some or all of the following personal information:

  • Names
  • Social security numbers
  • Birth dates
  • Addresses
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Credit card information
  • Dispute documents

How do I find out if my personal information was compromised?

Visit Equifax Security 2017 and click the “Potential Impact” button. You will be asked to enter your name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. To keep your information safe, make sure you’re on a secure computer with an encrypted network connection before you enter your social security number. After you enter this information, the site will indicate whether your information has been affected by the breach.

You will also be able to sign up for one complimentary year of TrustedID Premier credit monitoring and identity theft protection regardless of whether your personal information was affected by the breach. For details, visit Equifax Security 2017.

What steps can I take to protect myself?

Check your credit reports for accounts or activity you don’t recognize (you can check your credit report for free at www.annualcreditreport.com)

Consider placing a credit freeze or fraud alert on your files (click here for an FTC article on which option might be right for you)

Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for unauthorized or suspicious activity (if you’re a Horizon member, you can easily set up MobiMoney to get instant card security alerts on your mobile device)

File your taxes early to prevent identity theft

Visit the Federal Trade Commission article about the Equifax breach: The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more tips to protect yourself after a data breach


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