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Making sense of the Equifax security breach

When we use credit reporting services or other tools that require personal information, we have a right to expect these services to be safe and to protect our sensitive information from hackers and identity thieves. When the companies running these services fail to protect our identities and our sensitive information, they should be held accountable.

Most people know about the recent Equifax security breach. It is important to understand the details and to know your options if you are a victim of the security failure of Equifax.

What is Equifax?

Equifax is a credit reporting agency responsible for obtaining information and using it to give consumers their credit scores for purposes of obtaining loans and other credit-related activities.

What happened?

According to Consumer Reports, just last week Equifax revealed that there was a significant data breach that compromised the data of many of its customers.

How bad is it?

It is bad. In terms of the numbers of the people impacted as well as the potential impact of this breach, it is potentially catastrophic. The personal information of nearly 150 million people has been compromised, meaning the hackers could have access to the personal information victims shared with Equifax.

In terms of the potential scope of the damage caused by this breach, the situation is even worse than it might seem at first. According to the Consumer Reports article, the type of information compromised by this cyber-attack could include your:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Birth date
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Drivers’ license numbers

Obviously, if someone would get access to a couple of these pieces of information, they could access your bank accounts and deplete your funds, steal your identity and cause a number of other significant problems in your life.

What can I do?

Ultimately, Equifax should be held responsible for the security of your information. If you have used Equifax to get a credit report, the first thing you should do is talk with an attorney experienced in consumer protection litigation.

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