Then, request a copy of your credit report. If you didn't know, Equifax is one of the largest USA based credit reporting agencies that collect and analyze detailed records of financial data for records of a wide range of consumers worldwide.
The Equifax breach is one for the books and has compromised 143 million consumer's private and personal financial data.
Enroll in a credit monitoring service.
Also, if you use the service to put a freeze on your credit files, you'll receive a PIN that you can use at a later date to unfreeze them.
If you ever have reason to believe that you have been a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission has a website to guide you through the steps of reporting and recovering at this helpful website. "Lifetime credit monitoring. Reimbursement for all other freezes".
Lenders use Equifax information to determine risks in financing people's mortgages and credit cards.
"Nearly everyone with a credit report", had their personal information potentially exposed following a data breach. "One of the biggest values of a service like that is that if you find you're the victim of identity theft, a lot of them will assign a case worker to walk you through the steps of writing to credit bureaus, police departments and so on", Baird said. A fraud alert flags your account, but does not automatically halt new credit being opened in your name.
Also, per Reuters, two lawsuits have been filed against the company's negligence over consumer data protection, one at Portland, OR, and one in Atlanta. Each company will give you a code that you'll need again in order to lift the freeze, so keep it in a safe place. (ANTM - Free Report) and Sony Corporation (SNE - Free Report) have also been victims of cyber attack, when fraudsters stole large number of consumer data.
For those with a mathematical bent, Mark Stockley, founder of the web consultancy Compound Eye and a writer for Sophos's Naked Security blog, calculated the statistical challenge facing any attacker who wanted to brute-force unlock a frozen Equifax credit report. "Cybersecurity experts estimate that the effects of this breach may be felt by consumers for decades".
After news of the breach became public, it was revealed that three senior executives at Equifax, including the company's chief financial officer, sold nearly $2 million worth of the company's shares just days after it learned of the hack. The amount of the charge depends on where you live. Eight million New Yorkers were reportedly impacted.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Friday that his office is investigating the data breach.
"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. Others expressed frustration that three senior executives sold about $1.8 million in stock in the days following the discovery of the hack.