What You Should Know About Equifax Security Breach
When you hear that 143 million people were affected by the Equifax security breach, that seems like a lot of people. Especially when you figure the 2016 census has counted 323 million people who live in the United States. That’s more than one in 3 people in America. And some of those people aren’t old enough to have a credit file because they are babies. I’m not even sure they have Social Security numbers. Which would make the number actually much higher.
You don’t have to click on a stupid link some moron sent you to get hacked anymore. I get these emails all day long, and some are generated through Zillow now as well. There is also the hacked email from Docusign going around. What has Equifax ever done for you and why does it have all of your personal information? It’s one of three credit reporting agencies in the country, and you didn’t volunteer for it. You didn’t choose to do business with this company, yet the Equifax security breach probably affects you.
The first thing you need to do is go the Equifax website to determine if your personal information was possibly compromised. It will ask for your date of birth and the last 6 digits of your Social Security number. It’s bad enough the Equifax Security Breach has probably snatched your personal data and now the company wants even more personal information, but there is no way around it. I went there and sure enough, it is possible my data was stolen.
The second thing you need to do is READ your next step. The next step is to sign up for a free year subscription to monitor and protect your financial identity, paid for by Equifax. The deal is Equifax is counting on you NOT reading the second step or thinking erroneously that Equifax is there to help you, when that’s the last thing Equifax wants to do. Equifax hopes you do not read the instructions or that the instructions confuse you, or that you click on something else and forget about it. But I’m telling you, read it. If you want to enroll in the free security protection benefit, you need to save this information.
If you are affected, you will need to come back to a special link at a later date to complete your enrollment. I received the screen above after I completed my initial enrollment. It’s a two-step process. You can see that I am asked to come back to that link on September 11th to finish the enrollment. Equifax is figuring I will not.
The third thing you need to do is write to your Congress woman or man and ask them to put pressure on the SEC to investigate Equifax. Why would you do that? Well, it’s not because Equifax found about about the breach in July and didn’t tell any of us until September 7th. That’s bad but that’s not as bad as the fact that within days of discovering the breach and prior to public notification, 3 top executives at Equifax dumped their Equifax stock.
As reported by the Washington Post, Chief Financial Officer John W. Gamble; Joseph M. Loughran III, the president of U.S. information solutions; and Rodolfo O. Ploder, the president of workforce solutions, each sold off shares right after the breach.