Equifax’s Cybersecurity Breach & Free Credit Monitoring
Equifax announced on September 7, 2017 that they had an incident where consumer’s information was hacked. A potential of 143 million US consumers could be impacted, which is a staggering number.
Information Accessed During the Breach
The information accessed during the hack is as follows:
- Social security numbers
- Birth dates
- Some driver’s license numbers
- Credit card numbers for 209,000 US consumers
- Certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers
Details on the Breach
The breach was discovered on July 29th but had been going on since mid May. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
You can read Equifax’s full press release here.
Equifax has set up a website (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/) where you can go to see if your data has been breached. From various data points so far, you should receive one of two messages.
If your data has not been breached you will get a message saying the following after filling out your info:
Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information was not impacted by this incident.
If you your information has been compromised you will get receive the following message:
Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.
You will then be given a date to come back and enroll for your “free” TrustedID Premiere service. Enrollment ends on November 21, 2017.
TrustedID Fears and Issues
There is some fear that if you sign up for TrustedID that you will waive your right to participate in a class action lawsuit. You can find their terms here.
There are already talks of a massive class action lawsuit and we will let you know about that if/when it develops. Although, with a potential 143 million plaintiffs I doubt your payout would be very high. However, it is something you need to consider when making a decision whether or not to use the service.
There are also a lot of ways to monitor your credit for free if you don’t want to opt-in to Equifax’s offering in order to make sure you don’t give away your rights.
This is terrible news for US consumers. I believe Equifax is doing the bare minimum by offering TrustedID Premiere for free. And making people come back on a designated date without any kind of reminder seems inexcusable. To make matters worse it looks like some Equifax executives dumped stock immediately after learning of the breach.
If you are an adult, with any type of credit, there is a good chance your information is at risk. It is imperative that you monitor your credit very closely going forward, whether you decide to use TrustedID or another monitoring service.