On Thursday, September 8, 2017, Equifax, one of the leading credit reporting bureaus, disclosed that they discovered a data breach on July 29 that may potentially impact up to 143 million consumers in the United Sates—44% of the U.S. Population.
According to the company, hackers accessed data between May and July of 2017 through a vulnerability in a web application. The hackers gained access to:
- Social Security numbers
- Birth dates
- Some driver's licenses
- Credit card numbers
- Dispute documents that include personal identifying data
Here's how you can protect yourself: Get familiar with protecting yourself online. Continue to read below to learn everything you need to know about protecting yourself on the internet.
Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to read more about the incident. They are also offering complimentary identity theft protection for one year after you check if you’re impacted.
You can put a security freeze on your credit report to restrict lenders from accessing it. The freeze makes it more difficult for people trying to steal your information to open accounts or apply for loans in your name since most lenders pull an individual’s credit report before giving loan approval. A freeze does not affect your credit score, and it is also able to be lifted if you want to apply for credit yourself. If you would like to place a freeze on your credit report, please contact each of the nationwide credit reporting bureaus: