BIRMINGHAM BLOOMFIELD CREDIT UNION

How to Protect Yourself from the Massive Equifax Hack

September 21st, 2017


The bad news is that there’s a good chance your personal information was stolen during the massive data hack of Equifax, one of America’s three largest credit reporting agency.

The thieves stole the social security numbers, dates of birth, names and addresses of 143 million Americans—that’s about 60% of the adult population of the United States.This is particularly dangerous because with that information, the thieves could steal your identity to take out new loans in your name, alter your existing accounts, and ruin your good credit.

But the good news is…well, there isn’t much good about a hack of this size.

Still, if you act quickly, it’s possible you can protect yourself. Here are the steps you need to take sooner rather than later.

  1. Find out if your information was compromised. Visit https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/ and click the “check potential impact” button.
     
  2. If it says your information was likely stolen, at a minimum you should sign up for the free credit monitoring Equifax is offering for a year.

But that level of protection likely isn’t enough. The thieves still have your personal information and could use it to apply to lenders who don’t use Equifax. Also, because the thieves have your social security number, they could wait and use it a year or five or ten years from now. Unless America totally changes the system it uses to identify everyone, that still leaves you vulnerable.

Here are some other steps you should consider taking, adapted from the Federal Trade Commission’s recommendations:

By putting a freeze on your accounts, checking your credit reports regularly, and monitoring activity on your existing accounts, you’ll be doing everything you can to protect yourself.

 

 



NCUA Equal Housing Lender
Printed Monday, December 18, 2017

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