Equifax made history when it was hacked. Personal information belonging to an eye-watering 146 million people in the US, UK and Canada was at the centre of the breach.
The incident caused massive outrage as the hack was performed by exploiting a known vulnerability that Equifax failed to patch up. Affected consumers were understandably shocked and angry by the violation of their data rights, some weren’t even aware Equifax were storing their information. All the anger and disappointment aside, the breach has a real life risk to those exposed. So, what can be done to protect them?
A huge number of affected people had their private information stolen including:
- Contact details
- Dates of birth
- Driving license numbers
- Card details
With this kind of information, criminals could open a new line of credit, a bank account and commit other acts of financial fraud and identity theft. Identity theft can have a huge impact on a victim’s life; essentially, someone is taking over your life on paper, and they can do all sorts of damage in your name.
Check, check and check again…
Security experts are therefore urging victims to regularly check their bank accounts to look for any suspicious or unauthorised behaviour. Matt Schulz, a senior analyst for CreditCards.com, advises:
“When breaches like this happen, consumers need to be diligent – and not just in the short term.”
Schulz believes everyone should get into the habit of checking their bank accounts regularly, even if there hasn’t been a breach. The advice is that checks should be done on a “regular basis, ideally weekly,” says Schulz.
With technological advances like online banking, checking should be easier than ever, taking only a few minutes. Of course, where there is easy accessibility, there also needs to be responsibility to protect against third parties accessing it too. If you use online banking on your phone or another device, the advice is to make use of two-factor authentication, so if one layer of security is compromised (someone finds out your password), you have another to help keep your information protected.
Experts say you should also check your credit report regularly as well. Ironically, this is a service provided by Equifax. Along with Experian and TransUnion, the three credit bureaus are entrusted by millions across the Western world with protecting consumer credit against fraud. IdentityGuard, IdentityForce and Lifelock also provide similar services.
Just like checking your social media pages for updates and new posts, checking your finances should be just as easy and holds much more value.
Have you been affected by the Equifax breach?
“You are ultimately your last line of defence against fraud,” says Schulz.
Schulz’s words couldn’t be more appropriate as Equifax has been further criticised for its attempts to control the damage and manage expectations immediately after the breach. If you are one of the 600,000 U.K. victims affected by Equifax’s hacking, speak to one of our data protection specialists to see how you can claim compensation to get your life back on track.
We’re already representing a large group of claimants in response to the Equifax hack.
Call our team on 0800 634 7575 or if you prefer chat live by using our LiveChat facility or use the form below to create your own call back and speak to us when you’re ready or send us an email to email@example.com with your contact details.
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IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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