What consumers need to do in light of the Equifax breach and subsequent scare.
Equifax hacked again? The major bureau says no. Accoriding to a spokeperson, their systems were not comprised again.
Unfortunately for Equifax, the damage is done. Shares plummeted after the news broke. According to the news, Equifax blocked access to parts of their website as a security precaution. Consumers are skeptical.
According to CNBC, an Equifax spokesman wrote the following in an email: “Equifax can confirm that its systems were not compromised and the reported issue did not affect our consumer online dispute portal.”
Originally, an Equifax spokesperson released the following statement “We are aware of the situation identified on the equifax.com website in the credit report assistance link. Our IT and Security teams are looking into this matter, and out of an abundance of caution have temporarily taken this page offline.”
As the security precaution made its way around social media platforms, consumers were once again in an uproar. In fact, most consumers no longer trust any of the 3 major credit bureaus.
Legislatures are calling for the removal of social security numbers as identifiers by the 3 major bureaus by 2020. However, it can not come fast enough. We MUST take extra precautions.
Here are 5 things you can do now to protect yourself now:
- Lock or Freeze your credit reports. I chose to lock my reports. Experian explains why you should lock your reports here.
- Watch out for phishing scams. If you receive an email, do your due diligence and check the email address from which it came. If it does not look familiar, do not click links within the email!
- Read the URL. Before entering personal information on any website, always check the URL to be sure you landed on the site you were expecting to land on. Similar to the situation with the security analyst and Equifax’s website last night, you could be directed without realizing it.
- Monitor your credit reports regularly. Under normal circumstances, I’d say monthly, but these are not normal circumstances. I plan to monitor my reports daily and I hope you do the same.
- Look out for suspicious activity. Contact the credit bureaus immediately if you notice anything on your report that does not look right.
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