The Equifax Hack
First, What is Equifax?
Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies.
What does a credit reporting agency do?
They create and maintain consumer credit reports using the information that they receive from receive info from various lenders. When you apply for a line of credit in the form of a loan or credit card the lender forwards certain information to one or all of these credit agencies. A few examples of the information sent over are:
- New lines of credit
- Payment history
Check out Episode 001: The Evolution of Our Credit System for more information on our credit system.
Who was affected?
It has been reported that approximately 143 million people have had their information exposed in this data breach. Individuals in both the US, Canada, and the UK were impacted.
When did the hack occur?
Sometime between mid-May to end of July this year. Equifax states that they discovered the breach on July 29th, 2017.
What information was contained in the database?
- Social Security Numbers
- Some Driver's Licenses
Equifax also state that an estimated 209,000 credit card numbers were also in the breached database. If your credit card number was present in this database you will receive a notice in mail.
How do I know if my info was compromised?
To see if you were one of the estimated 143 million affected
- Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
- Click potential impact
- You will be asked to provide
- Last Name
- Last 6 digits of your social security number
You will receive one of two different messages
If you were not Impacted
- A brief message stating that your information was not in the compromised database
If you are Impacted
- Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.
For those of us who were impacted it is up to you if you would like to take the one year of TrustedID Premier credit monitoring that they offer for free
If you elect to enroll you will be given a date to return to a designated website. It appears that they are doing this to spread out the traffic to their website to prevent a crash.
Make sure you write this date down. You will not be given any other confirmation of this date.
What is TrustedID Premier?
TrustedID Premier is an identity protection company owned and operated by Equifax. According to the information I could find this service normally costs $27.99 per month for a family plan. The service includes the following:
- Copies of your Equifax credit report
- The ability to “lock” your Equifax credit report
- Three-bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports
- Internet scanning for your Social Security number
- Identity theft insurance