Equifax, a leading credit report provider, recently announced that 143 million people could be affected by a recent breach of its data system. Cybercriminals gained access to important personal information that included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers.
Your personal information may have been compromised by this breach. To help you determine if your information has been breached, and to mitigate the impact of this breach, we suggest the following:
- Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
- Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
- Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services.
- You also can access frequently asked questions at the site.
Here are some other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Consider asking one of the three credit reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report or a credit freeze on your files. These can make it harder for an identity thief to open more accounts in your name. Keep in mind that these won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
- File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
- Enable alerts and notifications – for real-time updates on your MECU Visa Debit and Credit Card activity to reduce fraud and monitor your account, wherever you are.
to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.