Date: Sep 08, 2017
The news is everywhere: Equifax, one of the country’s three
main credit reporting agencies, has been hacked. The breach apparently took
place from mid-May through July, during which the hackers accessed people’s
names, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, personal ID numbers, birth
dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. People in the UK and Canada
were also affected.
The Equifax data breach is a significant event that likely
has repercussions for almost all adults in the country. In response to the breach, the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) sent out an alert that provides helpful information on how to
check to see if you are affected, and what steps to take to protect
yourself. If you are among the 143
million Americans potentially compromised by the hack, you will be enrolled in
a monitoring service. You can also place a security freeze on your account, and
the FTC provides step-by-step instructions on how to do so. Note that some states allow companies to
charge a small fee – usually $5-$10 - for this service.
The FTC advises consumers to take the following steps by
visiting the Equifax website:
As with any other significant data breach, it is always
advisable to take a few minutes to check to see if you are affected and take
some simple steps to help protect you from identity theft.