What you need to know about the Equifax data breach

As most Americans are aware there was another data breach just announced last week.

Equifax, Inc. — a major credit bureau, announced that a cyber security incident, discovered in July, may have exposed names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. In addition, a smaller amount of driver's license numbers, credit card numbers and certain dispute documents were obtained.

In 2015 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported 181 breaches, but the recent Equifax breach affected nearly as many people as all those breaches put together.

The hackers accessed people's names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers. The media continues to talk mostly about credit concerns when what people need to be concerned with is the access that information can mean in regards to medical benefits, social security benefits, mortgage fraud and so many others.

What can you do and should you do about this?
  1. Make sure you check your credit report as soon as possible — Be aware of any suspicious activity and respond immediately to any IRS notifications.
  2. Review your annual earnings statement from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine if anyone has been working using your SSN. To request your Social Security statement online, visit the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
  3. Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don't recognize.
  4. File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can.
  5. Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) on all accounts that supports it.
  6. IDShield (our association business partner) has a booth at our conference next week, stop by and see them for important information.
Be cautious of free offers for monitoring as many of them do monitoring only and when you become a victim you may get a "how to restore your identity kit"; however, you will have to do almost all the work.

With the endorsed CSFA benefit ID Shield you are never alone. From having access to consultations with Kroll the top risk management company in the world to comprehensive restoration when you become a victim to doing all that can be done to respond quickly if a problem is detected as they monitor 34 billion public records and websites. Should you become a victim IDShield will do your restoration. IDShield is with you all the way. And they even have a $5 million guaranty. So make sure to visit the folks at their table during the CSFA Conference in Healdsburg this week.

For more information on LegalShield for CSFA members, click here