The Equifax Breach: A Reminder To Be Ready For Breach Notification


Consumers can take several steps to protect themselves, although the most aggressive tactic - placing a credit freeze at all three major credit bureaus - includes some expense. In the same hack attack, Equifax lost almost 209.000 consumers credit card numbers and so far the unspecified number of driver licenses, but an alleviating circumstance is that no intrusions on "core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases" at Equifax were discovered. Equifax is offering a free credit-monitoring service, called TrustedID Premier, for a year, but the service's terms of use appear to require consumers to sign away their legal rights (some reports say people can opt out of that requirement).

Equifax is based in that city, and the court handled nationwide litigation over a 2014 breach at Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc affecting more than 50 million cardholders.

Equifax has been scrambling to explain itself since disclosing last week that it exposed vital data about 143 million Americans - effectively most of the USA adult population. And have you tested your processes?

Equifax often charges consumers a fee, including if they need to replace the insecure credit-freeze PIN previously generated by the data broker.

To enroll, go to and click on the Check Potential Impact tab. Equifax maintains data on more than 820 million customers worldwide and protecting that information is central to its mission.

"Equifax sells services to keep your credit and your personal information secure and so it's significant that they can't keep their own information secure", Hadley said. "So, if it's done early enough you can figure out who it is that was using your card or where it was used or your identity, and it can be anywhere in the country". A freeze stops thieves from opening new credit cards or loans in your name, but it also prevents you from opening new accounts. The amount of the charge depends on where you live.

Equifax also acknowledged that its language particularly over the right to sue has been confusing at best, and said it was removing that language from their website.

Corporate culture could also be a factor. A freeze won't affect your credit score or report.

Experts say a breach like this takes time.

Equifax Chairman and CEO, rick Smith, said, "I deeply regret this incident and I apologize to all of our affected consumers and partners". Eight million New Yorkers were reportedly impacted.

Last month, Asset Finance International reported on the "stunning" increase in data breaches affecting companies globally. Days later, three senior managers including Chief Financial Officer John Gamble sold stock worth nearly $1.8 million. Though Equifax's eventual expense may not be known for years, it could be multiples higher than the insurance payout, given what the company has disclosed and the costs at hacking victims like Yahoo and Target Corp., they said.