Equifax data breach – how to protect yourself

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Equifax, hack, hacker, cyberattack, personal informationIf you haven’t heard by now, credit reporting agency Equifax has been hacked. According to Equifax, the breach happened from mid-May through July and exposed sensitive personal information of 143 million Americans.

Hackers got their hands on people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and even some 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.

If you think any of your information may have been compromised, head over to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Click the “Potential Impact” tab and enter the information it asks for. Even if your information is secure, you can still get free credit monitoring and other services for a year. The Equifax site will tell you when and where to enroll.

There are several resources for protecting yourself in the wake of this data breach. Check out the Federal Trade Commission’s website. Another option if you’ve been affected is to do a credit freeze on all credit reporting sites. Click here or here for those steps. You can also visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.

Elizabeth Bolt