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Campus Notices

Equifax Breach

What to do about the Equifax Breach

What Breach?

On September 7, 2017, Equifax CEO Rick Smith announced that on July 29, 2017 Equifax suffered a data breach. The breach may have included the personal credit information of 143 million Americans, jeopardizing consumer Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, some driver’s license numbers and credit account information.  To compare, keep in mind that there are only about 126 million households in America.

What does this mean for you?

If a malicious hacker were to get your personal information, they could sell it, or use it to impersonate you.  They could open credit accounts in your name, and use them for illegal means.  This could lead to lowering your credit score, or having charges pressed against you for non-payment.  It is serious, but we are all in this together.

What can you do?

Equifax has started a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, where you can check to see if your record is impacted.  After you enter your last name and last 6 digits of your social security number (SSN) it will tell you whether your personal information was impacted or not.  Based on the number of records affected, the answer to this is most likely, yes.  Afterward, it will give you the opportunity to enroll in TrustedID Premier.  Based on the number of enrollments, they will give you an enrollment date.  Make sure to put this date into your calendar as they will not remind you of the date.

On your enrollment date, you will have to return to the link they gave you and continue through the enrollment process. Once enrolled, Equifax will monitor your credit and alert you if there is a problem.

What is Jamie doing?

I have set up my enrollment date like above.  My husband was not in the list, but I still scheduled an enrollment date for him. I am also going to sign my three kids up as well, what a nightmare if they started out life with bad credit!

In addition, you can put a freeze on your credit accounts.  This tells the major 4 credit agencies that your credit report should not be shared and a new line of credit should not be opened.  If you aren't looking at taking out a loan (personal, home mortgage, student loan, etc), there is no reason that your account should be available for a criminal to try to use.  It means that you have to remember to unfreeze the account at a later time should you want to take out a loan.  It’s that simple!

Additionally, I check my credit report annually when I do my taxes.  This is another way to audit your account and make sure you know what is there

Also, this information could be used to open a Social Security Administration account and conduct Social Security Fraud.  You can create an account linked to your social security number now, to ensure a criminal won't do it for you by going to My Social Security.

Scammers will also try to use this breach to lure you to click on a phishing scam…DON’T TAKE THE BAIT!  Think before you click on any email link.

Should you panic?

Don't panic, make a plan.  Decide what is best for you and your family going forward.  Follow your plan and schedule regular checkups on your credit.  Remember, you are among 143 million other Americans in the same situation.  

Stay aware and stay cybersafe!

Jamie

 

Jamie Schademan, CISM

IS Security Manager/ISO

Information Security Services

Central Washington University

Jamie.Schademan@cwu.edu

 

**some information was taken from Brien Epsteins web posting.

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