Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, reported late last week a data breach of over 143 million US customers in what could be ranked as one of the largest data breaches in history. According to Equifax, the cyber-criminals accessed consumers’ social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers. In addition, over 209,000 customers had their credit card numbers accessed.
Williams Financial, LLC wants to help you stay as protected and as safe as possible. The following steps are recommended by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to minimize the potential damage done by the Equifax breach:
- Find Out if Your Information is Potentially at Risk
Equifax has set up a website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com that allows consumers to determine if their information was potentially compromised. Click on the tab labeled “Potential Impact” in the center of the webpage. You’ll then need to enter your name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Even if the scan suggests that you were not compromised, you should still be diligent and continue to closely monitor your credit card and bank statements. You also can access frequently asked questions on Equifax’s website.
- Sign Up for Credit Monitoring
There are a number of services available. Equifax announced that it would provide free credit monitoring to all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether their information was potentially compromised. Their site will give you a date when you can complete the enrollment process. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – for free – by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to learn more about how you can prevent identity theft.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your credit report files
A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
Please visit the Client Resources – Cybersecurity page on the Williams Financial, LLC website often. We will continue to update this page with new information as it becomes available. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific situation, please contact us at 866-986-4469.