The Equifax Disaster – A Quick Guide

Now that some dust has settled, and some confusing misinformation has shaken out, here’s our succinct guide to the credit agency’s data breach.  We’ll keep you posted if anything changes. Good luck, and stay safe!

What happened?  

Between May and July, Equifax’s systems were breached, and the personal information of approximately 143M customers, including their social security numbers and addresses, were exposed.

How did it happen?

They’re not saying…yet.

How do I know if I was affected?

Equifax’s website that lets you check is….unimpressive to say the least (we’re being kind).  You should assume you and your entire family’s data were affected.

Could my business be affected?

Equifax does collect business data, however no information about this has been disclosed.  Note that basic business data such as EIN, name, and address is public information anyway.

What should I do?

Two things. First, put a credit freeze in place for you and your family at all four credit agencies. Then pull and review your credit reports to make sure everything is safe.

1.
Freezing your Credit: To read about what that means, see this government site. To freeze your credit, visit each of the following agencies:

Equifax Security Freeze *
Transunion Security Freeze 
Experian Security Freeze 
Innovis Security Freeze 

*Equifax is offering a security freeze for free to everyone.  in NY State, your first freeze is free at all the agencies.

2. Reviewing your Credit Reports
You should also look at all your credit reports.  You can do this from one place at AnnualCreditReports.com, which is a joint site by three of the above agencies.

Should I sign up for other monitoring and alert packages?

If you successfully freeze your credit, the only organizations that can access your reports are companies you’re already doing business with, and certain government agencies. Therefore, additional notifications are not necessary. However, if it makes you feel better, review the terms of any “free” monitoring packages carefully.