Has the Equifax Security Breach Compromised Your Identity?

On July 29th, a shocking discovery was made. Hackers had infiltrated the computer systems of Equifax, one of the big three credit bureaus. Up to 143 million Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and even credit card numbers may have been exposed. Some experts believe we may never know exactly how many people’s personal information was stolen. However, there are things you can do to protect yourself.

Was My Identity Compromised by the Equifax Security Breach?

It took six weeks for Equifax to reveal the data breach after it was first discovered in July. This has drawn the ire of both consumers and security officials. To make amends, the company has offered free credit monitoring services and has even posted a website so you can find out if your information was compromised. Yet critics are wary of any services offered by Equifax.

Some have discovered waivers and forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of terms of use agreements at Equifax’s breach checker website and at its free credit monitoring website. These waivers and clauses could strip users of their rights to sue Equifax over this breach. Since this discovery, Equifax has stated that these clauses and waivers will not be enforced, and has since removed this language from its security breach services. But at this point, many authorities are recommending against trusting the fractured credit bureau.

How Do I Protect My Identity Now?

Most identity security specialists are recommending that people put a freeze on their credit with all three major credit bureaus. This will keep unauthorized institutions from accessing your credit report unless you unfreeze your account using a special pin number. You must initiate this freeze by contacting each bureau—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This could cost anywhere between three to ten dollars each, but it will prevent unauthorized access to your credit report.

You can also join one of the many lawsuits that are being filed against Experian. The company has a responsibility to every consumer whose data is on the company’s computers and servers. If neglect was a factor in this breach, then the company may be liable for damages caused to people’s credit and finances. To find out what your options are, contacting an attorney could be your best option. For more info, keep following the New Jersey civil trial lawyers at Keefe Law Firm, as we will be monitoring this story very closely.

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