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The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

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If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too.

There are steps to take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s website, (This link takes you away from our site. is not controlled by the FTC.)

  • Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
  • Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until January 31, 2018 to enroll.
  • You also can access frequently asked questions at the site.

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

  • Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit to find out what to do.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
  • If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
  • File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.

Visit to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.

Note: This post was updated on October 5, 2017 to reflect that Equifax extended the enrollment period for free credit monitoring from November 21, 2017 to January 31, 2018.




Nothing happens when I press Continue on the Equifax Getting Started web page.

when you entered your name and partial ss# it gave you a date. hat's the date for you to enroll

took me awhile to figure it out

It also binds you to arbitration, making you give up your right to sue them. They hide it in their terms and conditions.

This language was retracted after pressure from Gov't officials. You no longer give up your right to sue if you sign up for the free monitoring service. You can find confirmation on the abc news site.

Do you have a direct link for this bit of news?

So, I just entered "Test" and 123456 and got the shocking news that "based on the information I provided, Equifax believes my data may have been compromised...

The way I've heard it: If you have any kind of credit in the United States (car loan, mortgage, a credit card, applied for a credit card, etc.), you have the potential to be affected by this. Equifax monitors ALL credit holders and if you are one of those people - your information could have been compromised.

Amazing, I tried and got the same result, BUT, HERE's EVEN BETTER! (OR PROVING THEIR SITE IS TOTALLY BOGUS!!), I entered "Testdoe" (as in Ms. Jane Doe), and "123456", and I GOT THIS: "we believe that your personal information was not impacted by this incident." NOTICE THE "NOT IMPACTED". This is LUDICROUS!!! They really should be held accountable!

Seems like JaneDoe if you used a fictitious name to impute information, you would receive a message "NOT IMPACTED ".

Then why did msw above do the same thing and get "was impacted"? This has been reported on. Many have done the same, and even used their real info twice and gotten conflicting responses.

Yeah, it did its job....

I think the credit reporting agencies should have consequences for their actions, since we have no choice in them having our information. If they let it get compromised, they should have to pay the price.
Then our government should revamp the program.

Equifax knew the attack was going for quite a while before they went public with the breach.
While we were kept in the dark about this, millions of people continued to transmit personal information through the site.
They knew about the vulnerability in the dispute portal and they still allowed ppl to access it.
Again thanks equifax for NOT doing your job

I entered my info and the site indicated I was not likely affected by the breach, then it asked me to enter info, the site froze, I returned, reentering all information, and it returned a message that indicated I may have been affected. So which is it guys? This info would say the site appears to just randomly draw a NO or MAYBE!!!

It has given me conflicting information and a new enrollment date each time I try to complete the enrollment.

After entering my ID to check on whether my personal information was POTENTIALLY IMPACTED the response I received was, "Your personal information was NOT impacted by this incident." Then when I clicked the button to ENROLL in the Trusted ID Premier, the message changed to "Your personal information WAS IMPACTED by this incident." I guess their covering all their bases!!!!

Better yet get one of those novelty "8 Balls" that you turn upside down after asking a question. It will give you better answers.

I do not recommend the free monitoring services. The free coverage has a major gap in it: If you have an ID Theft incident that you cannot directly tie to the incident (e.g.; this particular breach), there is zero coverage.

Seriously, how do you tell if a particular ID Theft incident (e.g.; tax returns filed not by me, or a warrant out for my arrest for a speeding ticket never paid) is related to this breach?

Assume the worst, that your information WAS stolen. Take action now. freeze credit w/all 3 agencies, change pw & logins to all existing accts, and enroll in an outside credit monitoring service. Watch accts weekly.

I attempted to call the numbers listed for the 3 credit agencies to freeze my reports. In all 3 instances, I was unable to complete the actions. I answered all questions appropriately. I am very frustrated!

i did the same last week and got one agency "frozen" (equifax), then had much trouble with transition and gave up in frustration. Got back on it and froze the other 2 agencies just now, only to find out there's a new agency, Innovis!! It is beyond me why my credit is being used for profit by yet another entity!

I believe Equifax bought out the other two several years ago, although they remain "somewhat" separate. Whoopee!

Stop all of the craziness. Did ya`ll ever think that by providing all of the information that you did, that you could have been "Caught up in a Phishing scam"?

No phishing scam here - don't forget you followed a link from this site.

This is one of the big three watch dogs are that grade all of us on how responsible we are financially! Directly have an impact on all of our lives! How responsible have they been with our personal information?!! And what, Equifax hired a "private cybersecurity" company to take care of this mess! Fear no more people! Equifax and "private cybersecurity" guys are on the case!

They should all be strictly regulated from now on by the government. The government gets our tax dollars so they should start doing right by it's citizens. All those higher ups in Equifax should face charges by the supreme court. How about the salaries they were getting too. They suck!!!

Smells like a Phishing expediction :)

How do we know this site is legit? I'm afraid to use any site related to this!

I feel the same as when I go into the equifax account it is asking for 6 numbers on my social security, this is to much information to give. Seems like you would make it more easy for your account to be compromised. Equifax should contact everyone that is affected by a federal express letter that is to be signed for

I so agree with how we should have been contacted. I had heard at the time of the breach that all who had been included would receive a letter from Equifax. I didn't receive a letter, so I have been under the delusion that my info was safe. Until today. I am really upset about this.

So Funny! Is it a Joke or what?

Am I/Was I affected by the Equifax Breach?

Yes. Equifax or somebody in Equifax (those that sold their stock before making this breach public) are in on this. Because when you put your information in, they prompt you to sign up for their protection. Why in the world would I want to sign up for their protection when this company is obviously shady, at the very least, or criminal. Everyone should make sure their state's attorney general's are investigating the company and its executives on the selling of their billions in stock.

Thank you. I totally agree with you. Why provide a broken site any MORE in formation???

Now this is making sense.

I totally agree! Who do you trust?

My thinking is why would I re-enter all my info especially SSN again ?
I'm going to moniter my accounts on a daily basis, maybe 2x a day. Check all my security options to be sure everything is on point. This whole thing has a bad aroma.

I totally agree with you!

They are already monitoring your stuff, the only thing that changes when you sign up is that you are able to pull it directly from Equifax and you are able to tell them to freeze your account. not to mention the identity theft protection.

Freeze my accounts

Last I checked they already have all the information you would implement... If you've ever done a credit check anywhere, they have it. Plain and simple.

That's right! Why should we have to provide more information. I don't understand that. If you enter your information and the system tells you that you are most likely impacted then it should be an automatic protection since they know who's impacted anyway. Makes no sense!

Yea, and backed by the government, the ones telling you all this is safe. Smh. Just go back to cash, send money orders to pay bills, get off the grid, I did.

How'd you do that?

Same here. I always use cash. Very little goes on my credit card.

You say you use cash, very little on your cards, which means your info is already out there, you applied for credit at some point. Think about it. The only safe person is someone who nevered applied for credit, who truly lives off the grid.

Any American with a social security number is a potential target, whether or not you've got open credit. They'll get your number and steal your identity thereby, and/or, profit from the sell of your number.

Listening to C-Span hearings on the breach today it sure sounds as if this is coming under the direction of a foreign country. If you think just because you don't have a loan out you aren't vulnerable don't believe it. You have car insurance, they checked your credit, you have a cellphone they checked your credit. SSN are rapidly becoming ubiquitous. It will be interesting and scary to see how this information will be used by these foreign agents in the future

I'm that person.

I totally agree that enrolling may be a way to sell you something later or another tactic, but did you ever think your info can be used to create a new identity of you. It won't touch you current accounts, but may open all new one's that you will find out way too late? Just implement all 3 credit freezes is probably the safest action in my opinion.


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