Equifax Breach

On Thursday, September 7, 2017, Equifax announced it had suffered a breach, impacting as many as 143 million consumers in the US. What does that mean to you?

First, assume you were affected.  Identity theft is an all too unfortunate reality today. You may check by visiting the Equifax site at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact. Regardless of whether or not you were affected we encourage you to consider taking the following steps to reduce your risk now and in the future:

  1. Check and monitor your existing credit and deposit accounts for any unauthorized transactions. This is always a good practice as fraud can take months or even years to emerge.  Remember that online and mobile banking applications can help you monitor your accounts in real time.
  2. Take advantage of free credit reports and any free credit monitoring to catch new accounts opened in your name.
  3. Consider placing a free fraud alert or security freeze on your file with the three reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian).  You can learn more about these options at the FTC link below.
  4. Change any login information on all accounts you believe may have been affected. Use strong and unique passwords.
  5. Resist over sharing on social networks and tighten your security options.

The following sites may also provide helpful information:

Federal Trade Commission’s site devoted to Identity Theft
https://identitytheft.gov/

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Press Release on the Equifax Issue
http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2017/2017-09-08-equifax-data-breach.html

Mass.Gov site on Identity Theft
http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-information/scams-and-identity-theft/identity-theft/

Rhode Island state site for Consumer Protection, with a link to information on the Equifax Data Breach
http://www.riag.ri.gov/homeboxes/Consumer.php

For more information on the Equifax breach, please visit the Equifax website at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com