Equifax Falls Victim to One of the Worst Hacks on Record
Equifax, one of three nationwide credit reporting companies, has been hacked.
According to Equifax, the hack took place between mid-May and July, and discovered the hack on July 29th. The hack stands as one of the most alarming hacks on record in regards to amount of people affected (as many as 143 million people) and information that was stolen. Hackers will able to gain access to people’s names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers and even driver’s license numbers. Around 209,000 credit card numbers were stolen and “personal identifying information” was taken from around 182,000 people.
Unfortunately, there’s a pretty good chance you have been effected by this security breach. Equifax is mailing notices to people who have had their credit card number or dispute documents stolen. But it is important that everyone takes steps to better understand the situation at hand and found out how severely affected you are, or if you were affected it all. Here are some steps you can take:
Check with Equifax to see if your information has been accessed
You can go onto the Equifax website to see for yourself if you have been affected. The site will ask you for your name and then your last 6 social security digits and will promptly tell you if your data has been breached. Users can actually get a free year of credit monitoring from this whether they were affected or not. The site will give you a date on when you can come back and enroll.
Check your bank statements and credit cards
It’s ALWAYS important to keep a close eye on your credit cards and accounts, but now it’s more important than ever. Check periodically, weekly if possible, for any unusual activity on in your accounts.
Check your credit reports
Any unusual activity in your accounts or accounts that you do not recognize could be a sign of identity theft.
File your taxes early
File your taxes as soon as possible, this way you won’t have to worry about a scammer using your social security number for a tax refund or job. If you feel you have fallen victim to tax identity theft you should report it to the IRS right away.
Put a freeze on your credit
Freezing your credit will not allow any new accounts to be created in your name without a PIN. You can do this by contacting any one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies.
Clearly, having proper cybersecurity is extremely important. Just because a business is smaller and not nationwide like Equifax is does not mean that it is safe. We should take this Equifax breach as a lesson and make sure all our businesses are up to snuff on cybersecurity. If you need IT and cybersecurity support you can contact us on our website or call us at 518-320-8906.