Equifax hack hits 143 million Americans, so what should you do?
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (WKRC) – If “Mother Nature’s” fury isn’t enough this week, hackers may have stolen sensitive information from more than 140 million Americans.
Equifax, one of the country’s three largest credit reporting agencies, has confirmed a major breach that includes social security numbers, credit card numbers and driver’s license numbers of nearly half the United States population.
So, what do you do?
Companies like Equifax may be trustworthy, but they apparently aren’t leak proof.
“This is one of the most important security breaches we’ve seen in years because it really effects everybody. If you’ve ever had a credit card, a loan, a credit check made to get a job, then this is your information that’s been lost in this breach,” said Dr. James Walden, Security Director of the NKU Center for Information
The Equifax hack hit 143 million potential victims and 209,000 credit card accounts. Hackers got all the information needed for identity theft.
So what can you do?
“The best is to have a security freeze placed on your credit reports at all four credit agencies. If you do that, people cannot open new accounts, loans, credit cards or anything in your name,” said Dr. Walden.
You can do that through IdentityTheft.com
If you’re wondering if your credit information was compromised, Equifax has a website to can go to and find out.
NKU’s Krista Rayford checked it out and got good news.
“I’m good to go,” said Krista.
It also offers free added credit protection if your information was compromised.
“It is credit protection from Equifax itself so you may want to take that with a grain of salt on how good that’s going to be,” said Dr. Walden.
And how long anyone can stay ahead of the hackers.
The Equifax breach was first discovered in July but not reported publicly until this week.