How does the Equifax Data Breach affect me?
As you may know, Equifax announced recently that they discovered a potential breach of consumer data, due to an unintentional compromise that lasted from mid-May through July and affected about 143 million Americans. During this breach, the hackers gained access to certain files, which included some or all of the following personal information:
At this time Equifax has reported no evidence of unauthorized use of consumer data linked directly to this data breach incident. To find out if your information was exposed, visit https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact. You will need to 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.
Equifax is also offering TrustedID Premier credit monitoring free for one year, even to those not affected by the breach. If interested, you can sign up online at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/. You will be given a date when you can come back and enroll. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll. You can also access frequently asked questions at the site.
Identity Theft Recovery Services
As part of your membership with Progressions Credit Union, you are eligible for Fully Managed Identity Theft Recovery Services. Should you believe you are the victim of identity fraud or should you see any suspicious activity on your accounts, please contact us immediately to be submitted for recovery assistance. With Fully Managed Recovery, you have access to a trained and certified Recovery Advocate who can work hand-in-hand with you to identify and resolve identity theft, even if it is not related to your accounts with Progressions Credit Union.
Debit card and credit card protections
Your Progressions Credit Union debit and credit cards are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability protection and 24 hour fraud monitoring. You should always be cautious and review your accounts on a regular basis. Be sure to contact us in the event you see unusual activity on your accounts.
Extra steps to take after a data breach
- Monitor your existing credit card and other financial accounts closely to see if you have any suspicious activity. You can check your Progressions Credit Union accounts via SmartLink or SmartMobile 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sign up for eAlerts to get notification of transactions posting to your accounts.
- Protect your email account by strengthening your password or enabling two factor identification.
- Be cautious of unsolicited email offers and suspicious links.
- Update your antivirus or malware software on your devices.
- Place a password on your accounts.
- Make sure your contact information, including phone number, address, and email address is current.
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion for free by visiting https://annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit https://identitytheft.gov/ to find out what to do.
- Consider putting a credit freeze or fraud alert on your credit files. A credit freeze will make it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. 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. Keep in mind, neither a credit freeze or fraud alert will prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- File your taxes as soon as you have the tax information you need. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
- Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.