Equifax Data Breach

Information regarding the Equifax Data Breach

In recent news, you have likely heard about the data breach that has occurred at the credit bureau, Equifax.  This data breach is unlike most others because of the type of information that has been compromised.   The breach allowed hackers to access people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers.  Equifax has indicated that debit cards were not exposed—therefore criminals are unlikely to have the ability to withdraw funds from a checking account.  Identity theft is the biggest risk.  There are steps you can take to help protect your information from being misused.

 

Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.  This website is set up by Equifax and will allow you to see if your information has been exposed.  Click on the Potential Impact Tab and enter your last name and last six digits of your Social Security number.  Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you are on a secure computer and have an encrypted network connection.

 

Here are some other steps you can take to help protect yourself after a data breach:

 

Check your credit reports. You can check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for free by visiting annualcreditreport.com.  Check for accounts or charges you do not recognize.  You can order a free report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year.

 

Consider placing a credit freeze.   A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.

  • If you place a freeze, you’ll have to lift the freeze before you apply for any type of new credit that requires a credit check.
  • If you decide not to place a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit accounts.

 

File your taxes early.   Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund.  Filing your taxes early helps mitigate the risk that a fraudster could use your Social Security number to file fraudulent tax returns.

 

Do not believe anyone who calls and says you will be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debt.

 

Monitoring your credit card accounts and bank account for any transactions you do not recognize is critical. 

  • Providence Bank & Trust offers many custom alerts through online and mobile banking to help you monitor your accounts on a daily basis. To set up these alerts, navigate to the “Manage Alerts” section in Mobile Banking or the Settings<Alerts tab in Online Banking.
  • If you would like assistance or have question about establishing account alerts for your Providence Bank & Trust accounts, contact our Customer Care Center at 888-923-5664.

 

For additional information, please visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen .  This link is a credible source and contains additional information about the steps to take after a data breach.