Friday, 24 November, 2017

Equifax hack: Steps to help protect your information from being misused

Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are
Jo Caldwell | 12 September, 2017, 00:18

-Consider freezing your credit reports. Information compromised includes social security numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases, drivers license numbers and credit card numbers. Experian Plc, Equifax and TransUnion, the three biggest US credit-reporting companies, uncovered cases in 2013 where hackers gained illegal, unauthorized access to user information. While it's unlikely many Australians were directly affected, the nature of the breach highlights why mandatory data breach notification laws are important, that notification periods are critical and you need to ensure you're ready to communicate with anyone whose data your store.

Last week, the company revealed a massive data breach involving as many as 143 million people.

Equifax is one of the three credit monitoring services used to monitor your credit and a credit activity.

Go to AnnualCreditReports.com and use this service to request free copies of your credit report. And have you tested your processes? Often, victims of identity theft can freeze their credit at no charge.

Equifax Inc.'s insurance against cyber breaches is likely inadequate to cover the credit-reporting company's costs tied to one of the biggest hacks in history, according to people familiar with the coverage. To make things even worse, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 US consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 USA consumers, were pilfered. You probably wouldn't use that bank ever again. If you want to take out a loan yourself, you'll have to contact the reporting agency to temporarily lift the freeze.

The credit reporting agencies may charge a fee, usually under $10, depending on which state you live in.

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Those exposed now have the potential to become victims of identity theft. A freeze won't affect your credit score or report.

"At the time of writing, the breach announcement happened about three days ago - and there are fewer than 5,000 minutes in three days", Stockley writes. In fact, he writes that a PIN he obtained in 2007 from Equifax was also created the same way.

"There's a panoply of things Equifax will face", said Timothy Pestotnik, a San Diego lawyer who works on class actions and was involved in litigation against Toyota over unintended vehicle acceleration.

Several state attorneys general have also said they would investigate, including those from New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Options traders are betting that Equifax's stock will drop further following last week's announcement of a security breach.

Meanwhile, Equifax Inc. dropped 3.4% to $119.20 on Monday morning, following a almost 14% plunge as news of the massive data breach sparked widespread concerns about the security of customers' sensitive data. The company has since told Business Insider by email that the executives had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares.

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