Equifax Data Breach

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You may have heard of the recent hacking and data breach of Equifax, one of the United States' three primary consumer credit reporting agencies. Because of this data breach, approximately 143 million people (over half of the adult population of the U.S.) have had their private information stolen, possibly including names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, and addresses. Your personal information may have been compromised in this hack, which could lead to identity theft or other malicious actions using your data.

Financial experts recommend that individual consumers take measures to monitor and protect their credit going forward, with the assumption that anyone who has participated in the credit system is likely to have had their private information compromised by this data breach or one like it.

Credit monitoring is tracking your credit score over time and periodically looking for things you didn’t buy or sign up for. Credit freezing prevents new cards or loans from being made in your name. There are companies who will monitor your identity for you if that’s what you want.  There are may be class action lawsuits being filed by consumers as a result of this data breach. Follow the news or do a Google search to learn more about future legal actions against Equifax.  

Resources for Monitoring and Freezing Your Credit

Free credit report from Annual Credit Report:
https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

Freeze your credit FAQ:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs

Freezing your credit with each credit reporting agency:

If you would like assistance in navigating these resources online, please speak to staff at the library's Reference desk.

This page last updated September 21, 2017.

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