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Equifax Data Breach: How to Protect Your Identityby Scott Snider, Mellen Money Management LLC
FUBAR! A saying that originates from our military and aptly sums up the recent data breach at Equifax. If you don’t know what the acronym means, I suggest doing a Google search, so that I can keep this blog PG-13. I am tempted to yell every curse word in the book because my wife and I had our information compromised. From what I gather, anyone with a credit history is at risk too. Insane!
If you have been living under a rock, Equifax (EFX) has put 143 million people – 44% of the US population – in harm's way due to their inability to protect customer identities from data hackers. In other words, the odds are your personal information has been compromised. This includes your social security number, date of birth, address, and possibly even your driver’s license number.....
After the Equifax Data Breach - What You Need To Know To Protect Yourself
Equifax Data Breach
The Equifax data breach has jeopardized the majority of Americans’ birth dates, SSNs, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers. Unfortunately, the Equifax data breach wasn’t the first of its kind. It’s likely that your information is already out there, and I don’t believe a credit freeze will be effective in protecting you from fraudsters. I’ve outlined the true risks we should be worried about, as well as recommended actions to take.
The Equifax data breach was enabled by a web-application vulnerability, which had a patch available in March 2017 (see this Wired.com article). The Equifax data breach occurred a full two months later, which wasn’t revealed to the public until September 2017. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reported, “People who purchased credit-monitoring services from Equifax seeking added protection from fraud were among those who had their credit-card information stolen as part of the company’s massive data breach, according to people familiar with the matter.”
How You Can Protect Your Credit And Guard Against The Equifax Breach
So, you’ve probably heard, Equifax messed up… Now most of us have to worry about identity theft. Great…
THE SKINNY If you haven’t heard, here is a quick recap.
From May through July of this year Equifax experienced a “data breach” (uh, they were hacked) and the information from at least 143 million people was stolen. This may include your name, social security number, birth date, driver’s license number, etc.
Three Tips for Navigating the Equifax Breach
It’s been hard for me to read the news lately. Every “breaking” story seems to involve people being mistreated by others or the government, the weather destroying people’s homes or some other new danger.
So you can imagine how over it I was when I heard about the cyber attack on Equifax. It was massive, compromising 143 million people’s names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers and drivers licenses. 143. Million. People. According to the NY Times, criminals gained access to the system from mid-May to through July. It’s the third such breach since 2015.