Equifax CEO says company 'will make changes' after security breach
04:13, Sep 14, 2017
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The Canadian Press made multiple calls as consumers to Equifax Canada's customer service line and were told that consumers whose credit files were not checked outside of Canada are unlikely to be part of any breach.
Equifax has set up a dedicated website, equifaxsecurity2017.com, and call centre to help consumers determine if their information has been compromised.
Members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee yesterday sent a letter to Equifax chairman and CEO Richard F. "Rick" Smith asking for a detailed timeline of the breach and more information about what the company is doing to "identify and limit potential consumer harm".
Equifax announced to the public on Thursday that a "cybersecurity incident" had exposed the personal information of approximately 143 million Americans. There are several different ways of calculating and reporting credit scores, but each of the three bureaus has the same goal of providing an accurate reflection of a borrower's credit history.
If you notice anything wrong on your credit report, file a dispute immediately. "The volume and sensitivity of the data involved - information critical to identity management and access to consumer credit - distinguishes this breach from many other breaches of consumer data". A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account. If you want to open new credit, you will have to lift, or thaw, the credit freeze by contacting the credit reporting agencies.
- Consider freezing your credit reports.
Felton said people should sign up for a credit monitoring service and look at their credit card statements to make sure charges are accurate before sending out a payment.
The fraud alert usually lasts for 90 days and can be renewed. It apparently thought a year of free credit monitoring would be enough to placate consumers.
A hack of this nature is known as a "zero-day", meaning that this is the first occurrence of a vulnerability in a commonly used program - like Java - and doesn't have a fix yet.
This will require creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity before issuing credit. They should be wary of unsolicited calls or email that say they are related to the breach and that ask to confirm or enter personal information.
If you believe that a request for your personal information may be legitimate, contact the financial institution yourself, rather than responding to the communication. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job.
Collect your mail promptly. In most cases, you won't be responsible for the charges.
Shred receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers, or tear them up before throwing them away.
Change your passwords. Strong passwords that are regularly changed are a must for account protection.
You'll want to make sure your report is correct and up-to-date before you apply for a loan to make a major purchase like a home or vehicle or you apply for a job & often employers check the credit reports of prospective employees.
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