Equifax, Inc., a major credit bureau, announced on Thursday, September 17, 2017, that a massive data breach was discovered in July, which may have exposed names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses of approximately 143 million United States consumers.
The current U.S. population is approximately 326 million, so this data breach potentially affected 44% of Americans. In addition, a smaller amount of driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and certain documents were obtained.
The breach lasted from mid-May to July of 2017. This is just the latest example of how, no matter how careful you are, there are forces beyond your control that can still lead to your personally identifiable information being exposed.
We Know How Stressful Data Breaches are & We’re Here to Help
- First, set up a fraud alert. This will reduce the chance of a fraudster opening a credit or loan account in your name. If you place the alert with one bureau, they will ensure it’s placed on the other bureaus as well. Fraud alerts last for 90 days but can be renewed. You can search online for placing a fraud alert and select one of the main bureaus to set it up through. To sign up via Experian, use this link. To sign up via TransUnion, use this link.
- Be diligent. Don’t give out your personal information if it sounds fishy. IDShield members, if you’re unsure, this is a great time to call your licensed private investigator for advice!
- Change your passwords for online banking and other financial accounts. This will reduce the risk of your money or assets being moved fraudulently. As you change your password, use your IDShield Vault password manager to generate a new strong password!
Take Back Your Privacy with Personalized Protection
IDShield helps protect your sensitive information so you don’t have to worry. If your identity is compromised, we will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to restore your identity to its pre-theft status.
We offer a host of benefits, including monitoring. IDShield watches over your social media, bank accounts, credit score and the areas of your life that you would like to keep private and protected. Start your 30-day free trial today.
IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”). LegalShield provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. For complete terms, coverage and conditions, please see an identity theft plan. All Licensed Private Investigators are licensed in the state of Oklahoma. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.