Equifax Breach : Facts & Steps to Protect Your Information
As most know, Equifax — one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies — announced a major data breach affecting approximately 143 million Americans. At American National Bank of Texas, we strive to ensure your sensitive information is protected from threats and potential issues that could have a detrimental effect on your finances and credit.
What Information Was Compromised?
The company reported that from mid-May 2017 through the end of July 2017, criminals exploited an Equifax website vulnerability to access names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some cases driver’s licenses. The hackers also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
How Do I Know If My Information Was Affected?
If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed. Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/ to find out if your information was exposed.
- Click the Check Potential Impact button, and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
- Make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter your Social Security Number.
- Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can return to enroll. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
- Stay up-to-date on the breach. Equifax is updating www.equifaxsecurity2017.com with important consumer information regarding the breach and how to protect your credit.
How Do I Protect My Information?
There are additional steps to take to help protect your information after a data breach:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do if you see accounts or activity you do not recognize.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your data. A credit freeze makes it more difficult for someone to fraudulently open a new account in your name. Note that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your accounts. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should take extra steps to verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
- Avoid tax identity theft by filing your taxes once you have the tax information you need. Tax identity theft happens when a scammer uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
- Visit identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.
ANBTX is committed to providing information to protect our customers' credit and identity security. For additional information, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for more information on protecting your information from misuse: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do