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Recently it was reported that there was a cybersecurity incident, within Equifax, that could potentially impact approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Based on the company's investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.
The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed.
So What Next?
Equifax is offering a way for consumers to see if they have been possibly affected, as well as sign up for free identity theft monitoring. We suggest that you follow the link below to ascertain the probability of your information being affected, as well as taking the next steps with ID theft monitoring. https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
If you feel that you have been a victim of identity theft, we encourage you to visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Assistant which was created by the Federal Trade Commission to assist victims of identity theft. The site will guide you through the process of reporting fraudulent activity to the 3 major credit bureaus as well as next steps to combat the event. Furthermore, filing a security freeze with the 3 major credit bureaus and placing a Fraud Alert on your file can be directly done here:
In What Ways Can I Prevent Identity Theft
While identity theft can happen to anyone, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. Examples include shredding confidential information instead of discarding in the trash, changing passwords frequently, logging out of secure websites instead of simply closing them out, and not providing secure information to untrusted sources or unidentified callers.