The Equifax Hack and What You Need To Do

As many of you know, Equifax was hacked in late July and exposed 143 million people’s sensitive financial information. I’m not going to go into the details of what happen because it’s more important now for you to take steps to protect your credit.

Who is Impacted
If you are a US, Canadian, or UK citizen, you need to check below. Anyone who may have had a credit report run are possibly impacted. This includes teenage kids who have a part-time job.

What to Do
First, go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click Potential Impact. Answer some questions and you’ll be told whether you are impacted. This does ask for the last 6 digits of your social security number. If this creeps you out, just skip to the steps below.If you see the image below, you are and need to take additional steps. Even if you are not, it’s worth considering the next steps.

NOTE: Make sure to read the fine print before signing up for Equifax’s TrustedID program. Joining will cause you to waive your rights to sue Equifax or be part of a class action. Even if you choose to not join, take the steps below! Equifax has updated their site saying consumers who are subject to the incident do not lose their legal rights. See www.equifaxsecurity2017.com for additional updates.

Then go to annualcreditreport.com and get a free copy of your credit reports. Review for any changes in your credit and following the instructions from each provider if you have discrepancies. NOTE: When I attempted this on September 7th, the process crashed when I choose to include report from Equifax so just choose Experian and TransUnion, and it should work for you.

Next, you can set up fraud alerts on your account. This will signal creditors that they need to take extra steps before issuing credit with your information. You can set up a free alert every 90 days. This link to Experian makes the process quick and easy. Also, Experian will pass the alerts to the other 2 agencies. Also, the FTC has good information on this process here.

Last is to freeze your credit report for being accessed. Freezing your credit report has associated costs in many states, and it will prevent legitimate credit requests. To do this you need to call each agency using a number below or apply online.
TransUnion (1-888-909-8872)
Experian (1-888-397-3742)
Equifax (1-800-349-9960)

Updated-Information to freeze accounts online!
TransUnion https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze
Experian https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
Equifax https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp

NOTE: Unlocking/Locking your credit file at Equifax is part of the TrustedID platform so it is free of the usual cost of freezing your credit file. Also, TransUnion offers a free service, TrueIdentity, that offers locking/unlocking as well.

If you want more info on what happened, click here

Hopefully not many of you are impacted. For those that are, I hope this helps mitigate any identity theft issues for you.

About Michael Bender

Just a geek trying to "share the wealth" with the rest of the world... Michael is a teacher at heart. Coming from a career teaching at a community college and work for 19 years as a system engineer, his passion is for helping people learn the skills necessary to ‘level-up’ their careers, and helping businesses achieve their customer goals. Sharing everything is how he guides his career as everyone wins when you share what you know. Currently, he is a Cloud Ops Advocate at Microsoft. This team focuses on engaging and advocating for Operations-focused communities to the engineering teams in Windows Azure. You’ll find Michael and his #AzOps team at conferences, online, and building great content at docs.com. Michael specializes in Windows Server, Virtualization, PowerShell and Windows Azure. As part of his goal of sharing his knowledge, he has a number of courses published on Pluralsight.com covering PowerShell and Windows Server. He is passionate about the IT Operations community. For the last 8 years, he has led up a global user group called The Krewe.he is the current president and a founding member of The Krewe, a worldwide networking group for IT Pros and Developers. This group provides a global network for the sharing of ideas and solutions for many in the Operations community. For more information, check out The Krewe on Facebook or Twitter.
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