Equifax: Personal Data for 143 Million Americans Potentially Exposed

Equifax announced that 143 million users had their personal information compromised this year. Equifax said its systems were struck by a cyber security incident that allowed attackers access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers.  In addition, credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. customers were exposed as was “personal identifying information” on roughly 182,000 U.S. customers involved in credit report disputes. Residents in the U.K. and Canada were also impacted.

In a statement, Equifax said the cyber security breach was discovered on July 29. Since then, the company has been working with an independent security firm to understand what happened and how they can better protect themselves in the future.

The data breach is one of the worst ever, by its reach and by the kind of information exposed to the public.

“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” said Equifax chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith.

Even if you don’t think you’re a customer of Equifax, there’s a strong possibility they still have your data. As a credit reporting agency, Equifax gets information from credit card companies, banks, lenders and retailers to help it determine a person’s credit score.

Want to see if you might be affected?

Equifax will let you check your potential impact by typing in your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. All U.S. customers will also be given a date when they can sign up for TrustedID Premier, which includes identity theft insurance, credit reports and a service that crawls the internet and alerts you if your Social Security number is posted somewhere online.

 

Equifax has set up a dedicated website and phone number for concerned customers to call with questions —  www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

In addition, the company said it will mail notices to people who may have had their credit card numbers or personally identifying information exposed on dispute documents.

Protect yourself and stay vigilant on your credit history, pay close attention to your credit card statement and check your credit report from time to time.

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