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The Equifax Data Breach and You

As you may or may not know, we have experienced another major industry data breach, this time from Equifax. Reportedly, hackers may have accessed personal information from 143 million Americans, including social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.

It’s important to note that our vendor is Experian, and they have not been breached.

That being said, Equifax is the second largest bureau and most institutions report to them so there is a chance that your information has been compromised. Below are some tips for you to prevent any future problems from occurring:

  • Equifax has set up a dedicated site at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com for consumers to determine if they have been impacted by the breach. Be sure to access this site from a secure computer. You can also enroll in a one free year of credit report monitoring from Equifax when visiting this site.
  • Check your credit reports annually from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • You may consider placing a credit freeze on their files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent charges from occurring on existing accounts.
  • Monitor existing credit card and financial institution accounts closely for charges that are not recognized.
  • You may also consider placing a fraud alert on their files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.

We hope some of these tools will be useful to you if you have been affected by this breach.

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