Equifax Breach Exposes Data of Millions of US Customers

Equifax Breach Exposes Data of Millions of US Customers

I am one of the 143 million affected by this data breach. Fortunately this information was shared with me and I was able to take the steps to make that determination and to establish a plan of action. 

Here is what happened and the steps that you can take to determine if you are affected and action that you may need to take to protect your personal information.

In a press release issued on September 7, 2017 Equifax, a large credit reporting company announced a "cyber security incident" that potentially affects 143 million of its US customers.

Hackers exploited a vulnerability in the company's web application to gain access to certain files.

The information accessed primarily includes names, social security numbers, birth dates and in some instances, driver license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. Consumers, were accessed. 

"This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith. "We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations.  We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident."

Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers - all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. The website also provides additional information on steps consumers can take to protect their personal information. Equifax recommends that consumers with additional questions visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559, which the company set up to assist consumers. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.

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