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The Equifax Security Breach

September 08, 2017

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The Equifax Security Breach

[September 8, 2017, updated September 11, 2017]

 

Yesterday Equifax, one of the top three credit reporting agencies, announced they suffered a major security breach. This breach resulted in the compromise of 143 million consumers’ sensitive information including names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth dates, and addresses.  The criminals gained access through a web application vulnerability and were detected on July 29.   

You can check to see if you are impacted.  This can be done at: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/.
note: it has been reported that the site results are not reliable.

If your account was impacted, Equifax is providing a one year credit monitoring service.  You can enroll for the monitoring service at: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/.
note: enrolling in this service may prevent you from participating in a class action lawsuit.

Another step you can take is to freeze your credit with all credit reporting agencies.  Putting a security freeze on your credit report means that lenders will be unable to check your credit without additional steps being taken on your part to suspend the freeze.  While this increases security, it may also delay legitimate requests.  In order to place a security freeze, you must visit each credit reporting agency:  

  1. Experian - https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
  2. TransUnion - https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze
  3. Equifax - https://help.equifax.com/s/article/ka137000000DSDjAAO/How-do-I-place-a-security-freeze-on-my-Equifax-credit-file

It is also a good practice to proactively create a Social Security Administration account.  Since the personal information stolen in this breach, and often targeted, is used to steal your identity by creating a Social Security account, it is best to have one already created.  To do so:  https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/.

Another good practice is to check your credit report annually.  While this, and active credit monitoring, will not prevent identify theft from occurring, it can provide some forewarning to identify an issue as early as possible.  You are entitled to get this free of charge at:  https://www.annualcreditreport.com.

The Cascade Employee Assistance Program (EAP) also provides ID theft support services.  For more information, contact (800) 433-2320 for questions or to get connected.

And, as always, be watchful for phishing emails that will take advantage of this data breach and attempt to obtain your account information and keep a close eye on your financial accounts.

If you are interested in learning more about the Equifax security breach, below are some related articles: