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12 September 2017, 12:39 | Vickie Mathis
How to Protect and Monitor Your Identity After The Equifax Hack
A site created by Equifax where consumers can check whether their data was stolen asks them to enter their last names and the last 6 digits of their Social Security numbers. "That's the big stick consumers have, and companies have been taking it away".
Equifax put volume has skyrocketed following the company's high-profile data breach.
Some lawsuits could also target sales by three Equifax executives of almost $1.8 million of stock within a few days of the breach's discovery. Those are what John Ulzheimer, an independent credit consultant who previously worked at Equifax, called "the crown jewels of personal information".
The hackers gained access to important information belonging to 143 million US consumers after exploiting a vulnerability on the company's website.
Clark said a credit freeze is the only answer in this case. She said says she's also troubled by Equifax's approach to security generally, including reports that it didn't respond to basic scripting bugs it was warned about a year ago.
Patrick McKenzie has written a guide for individuals dealing with personal fallout from the breach, to help them decide what they should do to protect themselves and their credit.
They also hire digital forensics firms to determine how and when hackers got in and what data were compromised, a timeline that tends to be scrutinized during litigation. "If you really want to protect yourself from fraudulent borrowing, freeze your three major credit reports (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion)", said a WalletHub news release.
Equifax shares fell about 13 percent to $123.75 in heavy trading Friday, which equates to about $2.28 billion in lost market value. The intruders also accessed dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 consumers. If someone else goes to take out a loan in your name, the lender will not be able to pull your report and therefore can not extend the credit.
The former New Jersey deputy attorney general, Joel Winston explained that the contractual obligations are negated simply because someone from the Equifax marketing department wrote that the original terms of service will no longer apply. The same banks that furnish much of the bureaus' credit data also use it to make lending decisions. At first, Equifax said anyone who gets the credit monitoring service, TrustedID, must agree to submit any complaints about it to arbitration.
Some of the experts commented on this and among them was Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, who stated that "The type of information that has been exposed is really sensitive".
"This is just one more example why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule banning forced arbitration is badly needed to protect the rights of working Americans", said Sen.
Years from now, the Equifax breach may provide fodder to business school students about how not to bungle a response to a security failure.
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