What to Do If Your Personal Information Was Compromised in the Equifax Data Breach
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
One of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies has some bad news. Equifax announced on Thursday that hackers had gained access to sensitive information for 143 million American consumers.
Compromised information includes Social Security numbers, driver license numbers, birth dates, addresses and names. In addition, the company said in a statement that credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers were also compromised in the hack.
Hackers gained access to certain files in the company’s system between mid-May and July. Equifax found out about the hacking on July 29 and it says that since that date, it’s found no evidence of unauthorized activity. Equifax has reported the breach to law enforcement, and the agency said it’s also hired a cybersecurity firm to conduct a review to determine the scale of the breach.
What You Can Do
Since the company announced the intrusion, it’s established a dedicated website where you can go to see if your information has been compromised. You can head to the Enroll page of the site, enter your last name and last six digits of your Social Security number. Equifax will then tell you whether or not your personal information may have been compromised.
By enrolling, users may waive their right to take part in a class action lawsuit against Equifax at a later date.
You’ll then have the option of whether or not you want to enroll in a complimentary year of Equifax TrustedID Premier. TrustedID Premier is the complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring product Equifax is offering after you check to see if you were affected, regardless if your info was compromised. Equifax says that the enrollment process could take several days, so you’ll get a unique enrollment date. Keep in mind the enrollment period ends on November 21, 2017.
Regarding the possible waiver of the right to take part in a class action, Equifax said, responding to a question by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, that the arbitration clause in question does not apply to the hacking incident:
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) September 8, 2017
Equifax is recommending that you get a free copy of your credit report from the three major bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. In addition, Equifax says that if you believe any of your information was stolen, you should contact a law enforcement agency.
If your information was compromised, you could also consider freezing your credit reports. As MarketWatch reports, contact Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to request a freeze on your reports and will prevent anyone from opening a new account. It comes with a small fee, but that could be worth it to avoid any issues in the near- or long-term future.
Not long after Equifax announced the breach, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the company. In the complaint, which was filed in Portland, Oregon, users say that Equifax was negligent in protecting consumer data and chose instead to save money instead of implementing safeguards. Equifax hasn’t commented on the lawsuit.
This post has been amended first to reflect that users may waive some of their legal rights by signing up for Equifax’s TrustedID Premier monitoring service, and then to indicate that Equifax has stated that this waiver would not apply to the hacking incident.
Featured image by PhotoAlto/Gabriel Sanchez / Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees