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Equifax announces major security breach affecting 143 million customers in the U.S.

Equifax announced today that the personal information of over 143 million American consumers was compromised in late July. Items such as birth dates, social security numbers, and even drivers licenses were stolen by hackers, in addition to over 200,000 credit card numbers.

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For consumers in the United States, the name Equifax is a familiar one. The credit agency is one of the three main forces in the consumer credit market, along with contemporaries Experian and TransUnion. If you’ve ever applied for a bank account, credit card, car loan, mortgage, job, or anything else requiring a background or credit check, it’s almost a certainty that your information has been sent to Equifax. That’s why the latest cyber security incident is one of the most alarming in recent years. Equifax announced today that the personal data of over 143 million United States citizens was hacked.

The credit bureau stated that the hack took place on July 29th and involved the leaking of personal information including “names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and potentially drivers licenses.” In addition to the treasure trove of personally identifying information, approximately 209,000 credit card numbers were stolen and “certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.”

In response to the hack, Equifax will be contacting affected consumers in the United States through physical mail and will be performing audits of their internal security protocols and procedures. They will also work with police and federal authorities to resolve the issue and will offer free credit identity theft protection and credit monitoring services to all U.S. consumers.

The best thing consumers can do now is contact Equifax to verify whether or not their information was stolen. Also, consumers should regularly check their credit history, banking activity, and other items controlled by their personal information to prevent or identify fraud. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion will provide a free credit report upon request once every 12 months.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 09 > Equifax announces major security breach affecting 143 million customers in the U.S.
Sam Medley, 2017-09- 7 (Update: 2017-09- 7)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.