posted by: Radnor Financial Advisors
Equifax announced on Thursday that a massive data breach at the credit monitoring firm exposed social security numbers and other sensitive personal information of 143 million Americans.
Equifax has created a website for consumers to determine if personal information may have been impacted. The website also provides additional information on the cyberattack and what you can do to further protect your information. If you have been affected by the breach Equifax is offering free credit monitoring services for 1-year in which you should enroll.
The Equifax website is https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/. Equifax has also established a dedicated number for questions about the cyberattack: 866.447.7559.
Consumers should keep a close watch on their financial statements to monitor for any unusual activity. “When breaches like these happen, consumers need to be diligent – and not just in the short term,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “Just because nothing looks amiss on your bank statements or your credit report now, that doesn’t mean you haven’t been compromised. Bad guys can be very patient, so it’s important to keep an eye out long after this story fades from the headlines.”
To protect personal information, consumers can place a fraud alert, security freeze, enroll in a credit monitoring service, or file lock. A consumer does not need to choose just one option but one of the strongest defenses is to place a security freeze. A security freeze prevents new creditors from accessing your credit report unless you lift or remove the freeze, either temporarily or permanently. You may also wish to go to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to obtain additional information. The site is https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.