How to protect yourself after the Equifax data breach

Sep 12, 2017, 00:34
How to protect yourself after the Equifax data breach

The hackers stole Social Security numbers, which have no expiration date.

Amanda Werner of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said Equifax changed its policy in the face of public pressure. That detail, which has gotten a little overblown in its rounds on social media, has inspired nearly as much anger as the hack itself.

If you sign up for Equifax's offer of free protection, you may be limiting your rights to sue and be forced to take disputes to arbitration. But there's still plenty of problems. "Equifax got caught trying to profit from a massive security breach and the outrage from consumers and advocates made them reverse their position".

Schatz has teamed up with Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) to re-introduce a bill Monday - it was called the Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting (SECURE) Act when it was last introduced, in 2015 - to help Americans catch and correct credit report errors.

The initial announcement of the breach on September 7, which disclosed that the personal details of up to 143 million United States consumers were potentially accessed by hackers between mid-May and July. You can stagger these as well, so for example, you may request your Experian report four months after you request your TransUnion report to continually monitor them.

And you may need to be vigilant much longer than the free year of credit monitoring Equifax is offering. If you didn't know, Equifax is one of the largest USA based credit reporting agencies that collect and analyze detailed records of financial data for records of a wide range of consumers worldwide. He also suggested that New Yorkers might "consider placing a credit freeze on your files".

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What remains to be addressed, is why Equifax used such a flawed security protocol in terms of issuing of credit freeze PINs for more than a decade in the first instance. This may cost a small fee if you do not have proof of identity theft or a police report, and you will have to lift or remove the freeze if you need a third party to access your credit report for a credit card application or vehicle loan application, for example.

To run afoul of laws that prohibit insider trading, a seller has to be aware of nonpublic information, said Stephen Crimmins, a former enforcement lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

With new breach notification laws set to come into effect in Australia next February, it's time to create and rehearse processes to detect breaches, report them to the Privacy Commissioner, and notify all affected parties.

"The only weapon consumers have is these lawsuits to get the companies to basically treat their information with the care it deserves", Weston said. A few days after the data hack was discovered, they sold $1.8 million in shares of stock in the company.

"Equifax carries cybersecurity, crime, general-liability and other lines of insurance, and we have begun discussions with our carriers regarding the incident", a spokesperson said by email Saturday, without commenting further.

Lenders use Equifax information to determine risks in financing people's mortgages and credit cards.

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