One of the largest data breaches in history has left 143 million people wondering if their highly personal data has been exposed to hackers. For now, Equifax doesn't explicitly tell you if you were a victim, and in 99.99 percent of cases (yes, literally), it won't notify you by direct mail. But, if you're concerned you're vulnerable to identity theft because of the breach, this guide is for you.
Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, lost control of customer data that included Social Security numbers, home addresses, credit card numbers, drivers license numbers and birth dates. The company estimates that the data of 143 million people were exposed, which equals roughly half the US population. That means that the chances you are affected are pretty high.
Even though Equifax set up a program to help people protect their potentially exposed data, it might not give everyone complete confidence in keeping their identities secure. Here's why:
The breach could have started as early as mid-May 2017. That means that the data of 143 million people were exposed for more than three months. It's unclear what the hackers did with the data during those months.
Those who are concerned with Equifax's ongoing site vulnerabilities will have to take matters into their own hands. (Which is what this guide is for.)
You don't have to wait to enroll in Equifax's program to start protecting yourself against the hack. Here's what you can do.
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