This is one of the most prolific cyber breaches in our history. 143 million American consumers had critical personal information (PI) compromised. That is 44% of Americans, or the equivalent of about 8 New York Cities worth of people. The numbers are staggering. Here is a quick review of what you need to know.
What might have been compromised:
- Driver's License Information
- Credit Card Information
- Personal Information that can be key to accessing medical history, bank accounts, etc.
How do you know if your information was compromised?
Equifax set up a website for anyone to go and see if they were part of the hack.
What if your information was compromised?
Firstly, we are sorry. Having your information stolen is scary and can leave you feeling helpless. Here are some action points for you to start to pick up the pieces:
1. If you have identity protection insurance or a service, give them a call.
2. Sign up for identity protection. Equifax is offering **free protection going forward to anyone who wants to sign up. I would be careful and consider signing up with a different provider.
**PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THERE IS LIKELY AN ARBITRATION CLAUSE WHEN YOU SIGN UP WITH EQUIFAX IDENTITY PROTECTION. READ THE FINE PRINT. OFTEN THIS CLAUSE WILL SAY, "“By consenting to submit Your Claims to arbitration, You will be forfeiting Your right to bring or participate in any class action (whether as a named plaintiff or a class member) or to share in any class action awards, including class claims where a class has not yet been certified, even if the facts and circumstances upon which the Claims are based already occurred or existed.”
3. Call your banks, credit cards and ask if they have recommended actions for you to take.
4. Change your electronic passwords. You should do this on a regular basis anyways, but most of us don’t. Tools like LastPass or RoboForm can help you with this process.