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Equifax Data Breach – Follow these 5 Steps to Navigate the Fallout

By Rick Clark

September 12, 2017

 

By now, there’s no doubt you’ve heard about the large data breach involving 140 million identities. While this may seem like a common occurrence, the important difference here is the company who had the breach and the fallout from the breach.

Equifax is one of the three largest credit reporting services, and these companies are in the business of using and providing personal information so it’s not surprising there is a large number of identities affected. It wouldn’t be unlikely to see this number grow as the forensic investigation continues.

So, as a consumer, what should you do?

 

Step 1: First, take a deep breath.

 

Step 2: Read this article and watch the video of CEO Rick Smith describing the breach. https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/breach-at-equifax-may-impact-143m-americans/

Caution: Don’t jump head-first in the media’s reporting. There’s a lot going on here and many are questioning Equifax’s handling and reporting of the breach.

 

Step 3: Visit https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ to check if your information was involved in the breach.

Caution: If you read the previous article, this site may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

 

Step 4: No matter what, sign up for the free credit monitoring offered by Equifax on the previously mentioned site (Available free for all until November 1, 2017).

Note: Equifax modified the language further clarifying the arbitration clause. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/09/08/what-to-know-before-you-check-equifaxs-data-breach-website/?utm_term=.0e2f59f16ba0

 

Step 5: Finally, and most importantly, put a security freeze on your credit reports. Read this story to learn more about the differences between a security freeze and credit monitoring.  https://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/06/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-embrace-the-security-freeze/

 

It’s likely many of us were impacted by this breach, so the best advice: Put a freeze on your credit reports and remember to check them annually. Creditors cannot access your credit report without your permission. Also, be sure to check your state’s Attorney General website for laws regarding your rights as a consumer.

Aside from following these steps, a breach of this impact is a reminder to all consumers to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft. Continually and proactively monitor your credit card and bank accounts and report suspicious activity immediately.

 

 

Disclaimer: Ontario Systems is a technology company and provides this blog article solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Ontario Systems’ advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Ontario Systems’ efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies.

© 2017 Ontario Systems, LLC. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is subject to change. Reproduction of this publication is not permitted without the express permission of Ontario Systems, LLC.

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About the Author

Rick Clark

As Corporate Security Director, Rick Clark is responsible for all phases of Ontario Systems’ corporate security and implemented its security program. He leads internal efforts to ensure that Ontario Systems’ products meet regulatory and best practices compliance in security. With more than 10 years of experience in Information Security, Rick is a recognized advocate on issues of security, compliance and data privacy.

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