Equifax Data Breach Info- What You Need To Know
Equifax announced on 9/7/2017 a major breach affecting over 143 Million Americans. Below are resources for Walden Savings Bank Customers to help answer many of the questions around this.
- Equifax has set up a website where you can check to see if you are one of the 143 million people whose data is compromised and to provide additional information: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
- Experts recommend customers review their records to make sure that there are no unauthorized accounts or charges on their existing accounts. You may receive a free annual credit report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Equifax is offering impacted consumers one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. This may be good solution for many however, we encourage you to review the FAQs provided by Equifax.
- Additional Identity Theft protection from a 3rd party provider may offer an additional layer of security for those impacted. Walden Savings Bank offers this service through Lifelock for those seeking additional protection.
- Credit Freeze- What a security freeze will do is prevent anyone from accessing your credit report. So, if a scammer tries to open a new line of credit using your name, date of birth, and social security number, when the lender tries to pull your credit report, it'll say it's blocked and that you have to contact the credit bureau. You may set this up by visiting each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax Experian & Transunion
In the wake of this breach, experts also recommend those impacted take several precautionary actions:
- CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS Especially if you typically use similar passwords and security questions on multiple accounts, do this. Once hackers have access to ID and password information for one system, they routinely try the same combination against multiple other platforms to see which ones work, an easily automated process.
- ENABLE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION That usually sends a password reset to your email account, so making sure that email account is secure should be your primary concern. Two-factor authentication keeps them from doing that by sending a text message or call to the user's phone with a code as a second verification step. The code which must be typed in before the account can be opened.For the vast majority of victims who didn’t have credit information compromised, the biggest risk here is that a criminal uses this information to answer your “security questions” and reset your password.
- CHECK YOUR CREDIT CARD AND OTHER ACCOUNTS Review your online accounts for suspicious activity. That includes banks, credit card companies and hotel and airline loyalty programs. Hackers frequently slice and dice information from large data breaches, selling groups of user information for specific companies on the dark web. Even the smallest accounts can be bundled together into a large group to be sold.
- BE EXTRA CAREFUL ABOUT EMAILS AND LINKS Users should avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails that claim to be updates from Equifax or connected to the breach.
As always we're here to help! If you should have additional questions please Contact Us today.