Equifax Was Hacked
Nearly Half Of American adults
Thats how many US Citizens, Equifax lost the personal information of. Equifax lost Names, addresses, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, and Social Security numbers, for 143 Million US citizens. If you haven’t been effected directly, then you know someone who has been. Today we’ll look at why you should care Equifax was hacked, and what you can do about it.
Why should you care Equifax was Hacked?
Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States along with Experian, and TransUnion. Being a “Credit Bureaus” allows these companies to collect all of your credit information, and sell it to credit companies to know if you are suitable to give a loan to. This information Isn’t just used to take out loans. This information can be used to use your medical records, Buy property and goods in your name.
What can your personal Info be used for?
This information can be used to:
Use your medical records, This gives the person who bought your information the ability to use your medical history and credit to buy medical services they may or may not need. Leaving you the bill AND the hassle of removing the incident from your medical history.
Buy property (with no loan), This allows the person who bought the home to commit illegal activities in the home under the guise of using your name.Illegal activities could include money laundering, drug and human trafficking, or any other illegal activities an individual wouldn’t want to be associated with.
Sign up for services, such as internet services to commit illegal activities in your name. Cyber criminals know to take a layered approach when covering their tracks. Why wouldn’t one sign up for internet services under someone else’s name to add one more layer to the onion they are protecting themselves with?
What can you do?
3 Basic Steps to deal with
The equifax hack
Get Identity protection
This is probably the most simple solution with the most support if any of your Personal Information is used fraudulently.
Simply sign up for IDShield, they will monitor your credit and personal information, and take the necessary steps to recover your identity if any of your information is used fraudulently.
You get an up to 5 million dollar remediation guarantee. If Criminals use your information for any fraudulent purposes IDShield will fight to remove the fraud in your name.
In addition to your Identity protection you receive a couple of other cool tools as well. You get an app where you can monitor your credit, contact an identity specialist and control what online accounts, and other personal data you want monitored. You even get discounts at many stores through out the US!.
IDShield will monitor the dark web for your Credit history, credit score, online email, social media, court records, medical records, address, social security number. If its personal identifiable information, they will monitor for it.
If your interested in signing up, click on the link below.
Freeze your credit
Your second option, which requires more leg work, and isn’t as comprehensive is to freeze your credit. This involves calling, or mailing all three credit Bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion), and requesting that each company freezes your credit.
By “freezing” your credit, you are asking the credit bureaus to stop giving your credit history to banks, lenders, and other entities when they request it. This will stay in place until you contact the credit bureaus and request that your information be “thawed” or no longer “frozen”.
Freezing your credit can include a $15.00-$31.00 fee for each credit bureau. You will be charged a fee when you “thaw” your credit as well. When you want to take out a loan, or do anything involving a credit check you must “thaw” your credit, and it is recommended to “thaw” your credit 2 days before you have your credit check.
To “freeze” your credit follow the links, or call the three following companies. Only use a computer you know is clean of viruses or Malware when you follow the links.
Equifax –Equifax Freeze web freeze- 888-298-0045 live person over the phone freeze, 800-685-1111 automated system over the phone freeze.
TransUnion-TransUnion Freeze web freeze – 888-909-8872 over the phone freeze
Experian-Experian Freeze web freeze – 888-397-3742 over the phone freeze
Obsessively monitor your credit
If you like being completely self reliant this last option might be for you. Though you will be responsible for correcting any fraud committed in your name. If you are busy, or you are not incredibly responsible i don’t suggest monitoring your own credit.
To monitor your own credit you must watch a Your credit score, as well as your online bank accounts regularly. As far as other activity with your personal data IE your social media, passport, medical, and criminal/ justice (cyber criminals like to commit crimes in other peoples names) can be a bit more difficult to monitor.
To easily monitor all of your bank accounts in one place, as well as create budgets and notifications, i would use a company called MINT to keep all of my financial data in one place. To learn more about Mint, or sign up follow this link to Mint.com
By law each of the credit bureaus must give you one free credit report per year. To get all of your credit reports at once just follow this link to AnnualCreditReport.com