The recent Equifax data breach is now considered the largest credit data breach in history. It affects almost half of the entire U.S. population. Chances are, if you live in the U.S. and you have a credit card, you are most likely affected.
The company detected the attack on July 29 and the unauthorized access may have occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The cybercriminals allegedly exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access.
The amount of personal information stolen is staggering. It includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and even driver’s license numbers.
To inform the public, Equifax has begun sending out direct mail alerts to customers whose information was included in the data breach. So keep an eye out for this notice in your mailbox.
You can also call Equifax’s dedicated customer care number 866-447-7559 to check, but judging by the magnitude of the breach, long wait times are expected.
The company also opened a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers check if any of their information has been affected.
Note before you do: You really need to read on to learn why this tool is raising more questions than answers.
Additionally, Equifax is offering affected consumers a chance to get a year’s worth of identity theft protection and credit file monitoring for free via its own TrustedID Premier service.
But wait, before you use Equifax’s tool and enroll in its credit file monitoring service, here are some important points to consider.