Equifax today, September 7, 2017, finally reported a security breach that could impact 143 million US & Canadian consumers. That's not nearly as large a breach as others recently; Some compromised up to 1 billion customer accounts. Equifax discovered the breach on July 20. Hackers used a website vulnerability to access files, with the breach occurring from mid-May through July, according to Equifax's investigation.
The greatest cause for concern, as we see it, is the type of data accessed.
- Social Security numbers
- Birth dates
- Driver’s License Numbers (in some instances)
This is critical to your privacy and security of your identity.
It gets worse. Equifax says credit card numbers for roughly 209,000 people were accessed by hackers, as were dispute documents with "personal identifying information" for about 182,000 people.
“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.
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. They're offering an identity protection service, 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.
In addition to the website, Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.