How to Protect Your Identity After the Equifax Data BreachSubmitted by Reby Advisors | Certified Financial Planners | Danbury, CT on September 15th, 2017
As you’ve likely heard, the recent data breach at Equifax may have impacted 143 million people, exposing personal information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and even driver’s license numbers.
Identity theft is a serious issue, and we take cybersecurity very seriously, including both formal staff training and as a regular discussion point in our team meetings.
If you haven't already, we recommend verifying whether your personal information may have been compromised on the website Equifax has set up in response to the data breach. Go to www.EquifaxSecurity2017.com and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. Then, click the big red button that says, “POTENTIAL IMPACT.”
You’ll need to enter your last name and the last six digitals of your Social Security number to find out whether your personal information may have been compromised.
Regardless of whether your information has been compromised, you’ll have the option to enroll in a service called TrustedID Premier, which includes credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and internet scanning for Social Security numbers.
This is being offered free for one year, Equifax says.
The process for signing up for TrustedID Premier has been criticized for being overly complicated, and a little perseverance is needed to follow through with signup. You will not be able to sign up right away; instead, you’ll be given an enrollment date, and you may sign up on that date or afterwards. So, when you see the offer, make sure to write down your enrollment date. Set a reminder for yourself, because Equifax will not notify you when it’s your time to go through the process and enroll.
On or after your enrollment date, go back to FAQ.TrustedIDPremier.com. A valid email address is required to complete the process. It will take several days for the service to start after email validation.
If you have any questions about this data breach, or about Reby Advisors' cybersecurity measures, please feel free to reach out.
Below, you'll find some additional resources on this topic.
Equifax Frequently Asked Questions: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/frequently-asked-questions/
The FTC web page on identity theft: www.ftc.gov/idtheft
How to get free copies of all three credit reports: www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228
Equifax customer service (expect long wait times): 866-447-7559 (7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern Time)
Should I freeze my credit reports?