Equifax is one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies that together, give you your credit score. Equifax said on Thursday that hackers had gained access to company data that potentially compromised sensitive information for 143 million American consumers, including Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers. For example, the entire U.S. population in July 2016 was roughly 323 million, according to Census Bureau data. There are more than 249 million people over age 18 — i.e., those most likely to have a credit file.Equifax’s security lapse could be the largest theft involving Social Security numbers, one of the most common methods used to confirm a person’s identity in the U.S.
What can you do to help yourself during this time?
- Assume you are affected. Check your existing credit accounts for suspicious transactions and look out for new accounts in your name.
- If you use Equifax, change your account information NOW.
- Watch out for phishing attacks.
- Equifax has established a website, equifaxsecurity2017.com, so you can check to see if your personal information may have been stolen. If the verification comes back, you will be offered to enroll in their “TrustedPremier” program. This is Equifax’s credit monitoring service. Consumers can also call 866-447-7559 for more information, if they are uneasy about giving this information to Equifax over the web. Experian is also offering free credit monitoring to all U.S. consumers for a year.
It’s difficult to tell consumers to check their credit reports since Equifax was one of the three credit reporting agencies breached. Normally, during a major breach such as this, a consumer would order their reports from each agency to review activity. Since Equifax is one of these three, it’s understandable that your confidence is shaken, but you will need to be diligent in reviewing your files. Equifax discovered the hack July 29, but waited until Thursday to warn consumers. If you are unease going this route, then consider purchasing a 3rd party agency for identity theft like Lifelock, IdentityGuard, or Credit Sesame.
About Veracity Consulting
Veracity Consulting is a Kansas City-based technology firm with a reputation of implementing and managing IT solutions and business strategies. Our mission is to change the complex world of technology into a more efficient and profitable solution for businesses and communities. We use a collaborative approach with our clients to create and implement viable and relevant solutions. We offer a comprehensive range of commercial and government solutions in the areas of Program Management, Data Management and Analytics, Strategy and Architecture, Managed Infrastructure, and Security.
About Amy Krohn
Amy Krohn has served as a leader in the technology industry for over 20 years. Her areas of expertise include leading organizations and companies in executive leadership, strategic planning, enterprise architecture, as a mentor, leadership development, organizational change management, delivery management, vendor management, service management, and process improvements. Amy currently serves as Veracity Consulting’s Vice President of Technology.