Equifax hack: Steps to help protect your information from being misused

Posted September 11, 2017

That's leaving millions of Americans scrambling to figure out how to respond to the security breach and the threat of having their identities stolen.

In addition to adding more call center agents to its centers to assist consumer calls, they also changed the language in the user agreement for TrustedID Premier. The controversial terms of service apply only after a consumer chooses to enroll in the one-year free credit monitoring service that Equifax is providing. But, that's about all you can really do.

Equifax is one of the nation's three major credit reporting agencies.

Hacking accounted for 41% of disclosed breaches, with Goddijn warning: "There are a lot of moving parts to an effective patch management program, but no matter how strong that process might be, it can be undermined when known vulnerabilities are missed simply because the organization was not aware to look for them". It gets its data - without you even knowing - from credit card companies, banks, retailers, and lenders. You're entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three big agencies once every 12 months.

To defend themselves a company spokeswoman, Ines Gutzmer stated: "The three executives who sold a small percentage of their Equifax shares on Tuesday, August 1, and Wednesday, August 2, had no knowledge that an intrusion has occurred at the time they sold their shares".

The company said late yesterday that they had not been informed of the incident.

Two New York women "live in constant fear" that they might be victims of identity theft because of Equifax's massive data breach, according to a new lawsuit.

Equifax shares plunged 13 per cent to $123.81 in early trading in NY on Friday.

The incident is a stark reminder of the risk of consumers' personal data being exposed online. For one thing, a company that compromised all our data back in July, and waited until September to say anything, now wants me to enter six digits of my nine-digit Social Security number.

Run your credit reports. Consumers will have to take the time to place a freeze at each bureau separately. A fraud alert, in contrast, doesn't actually do much. To unlock credit, a person is given a PIN. Some people had credit card numbers stolen, too.

Stock prices fell almost 14 percent for the Atlanta-based credit monitoring agency Equifax on Friday. Who knows how this will all unfold, and it can't hurt to have free credit monitoring in the mean time. That can help you keep tabs on whether anything fishy is going on with your data. The U.S. government can still see someone's credit during a freeze, but creditors can't, reports Bankrate.com.

Never give discretion to your financial firms and advisers over your financial accounts without requiring additional security procedures in return.

If nothing else, you should closely monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts to check for unauthorized charges. Make sure you temporarily lift the freeze if you are in the market for a loan. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. One way around that is to file your taxes quickly, before a criminal has a chance to make a fake filing.