Protecting Your Identity and Privacy: The Equifax Data Breach
No doubt you have heard that Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, had a data breach and as many as 143 million American’s may have had sensitive information stolen. Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other identifying data may have fallen into the wrong hands.
We take our client’s privacy and data protection very seriously, and like you we are very concerned about the impacts of this incident. We wanted to take a second and share the advice offered by the Federal Trade Commission on how to determine if your data was among the information that was compromised, and steps you can take if it was.
If you are concerned about the impact of this situation, we recommend following the steps outlined in the article. Check with Equifax’s website to see if you were part of the breach. Enroll in the credit monitoring services offered by Equifax. Check your credit reports with all three agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Consider putting a freeze on your credit reports to stop unwanted inquiries and consider placing a fraud alert on your files. File your taxes as early as possible to prevent someone from fraudulently filing for you and claiming a refund.
Most importantly, keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements closely and report any unknown activity right away.
Technology offers us many conveniences. Unfortunately it also provides criminals with opportunities. We must remain vigilant.