The Equifax data breach that potentially affects 143 million U.S. customers. The hackers had access to data from May until July 2017.
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The company detected the breach on July 29, it hired a cybersecurity firm to determine what data the hackers accessed. But in the time it took for the company to alert affected customers. Hackers could have used their data for purposes including opening credit cards or other lines of credit.
Consumers unable to find out immediately if affected. Instead, once they entered their information into Equifax’s security website. They were signed up for free credit-monitoring services for Equifax. To find out if they were affected or not had to come back to the site later.
Many credit bureau protections don’t detect nontraditional accounts fraudsters might try to open. Such as payday loans or demand deposit accounts, said Al Pascual, a senior vice president and research director at the security firm Javelin. Customers should immediately freeze their accounts at all three credit bureaus. This restricts access to your credit report. It helps prevent other credit card companies accessing it to open up new accounts.
The service can cost anywhere from $3 to $10. But will prevent anyone from opening a new account, applying for a job, renting an apartment or buying insurance with your account information. A freeze basically prevents other legitimate companies from accessing your report. Those who need to check it as part of a loan application.
The consumers affected should sign up for services that go beyond typical credit freezing and alert services, such as Lifelock, EZ Shield and Identity Guard. The most basic version of Lifelock costs $9.99 per month and provides benefits including address change verification. And help cancelling or replacing lost credit cards, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and insurance cards, plus a “restoration team” that helps correct any identity theft issues and black market website surveillance.
The company said it would offer a free year of service from its subsidiary, TrustedID, which monitors credit reports from Equifax as well as Experian EXPN, -1.12% and TransUnion TRU, -4.35%. Offering identity theft insurance and internet scanning for social security numbers. Equifax will also send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or personal information impacted.
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Alert your bank and companies overseeing any other financial accounts, and strengthen passwords with two-factor authentication. Companies should never ask for a full social security number or driver’s license, they should confirm your card number, zip code and one or two security questions. When a consumer is a victim of identity theft or fraud, the last thing companies should do is pressure customers to give you more information
To check if data breached visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com