In September 2017, credit agency Equifax admitted a data breach had exposed the personal data of 143 million customers (later increasing to 147 million). The company announced that hackers had exploited a “website application vulnerability”. Affected data included:
- Social Security numbers,
- birth dates,
- driver’s license numbers,
- and credit card numbers.
Ultimately, the catastrophic leak put millions of Americans at risk of identity theft and other fraudulent activities. In a 2019 court case, the FTC alleged that Equifax was at fault over the breach, due to lax security. Equifax agreed that year to a settlement, which included:
- payouts of up to $20,000 apiece (capped in most cases to $125),
- free credit monitoring,
- and identity theft protection.
Equifax also agreed to pay court costs and fines from the government.
What Equifax Customers Can Do
The settlement is ongoing and claims can still be made. If you are unsure whether you were affected by the data breach, Equifax also has a dedicated look-up tool with which you can find out if you’re eligible to claim compensation. You can submit a claim online or by email via these two links:
Equifax has also been sending out emails, such as the one pictured above — understandably, many users have been skeptical. The good news is that they are indeed from Equifax, with the likes of Snopes confirming their legitimacy. Just ensure that they come from the official dedicated email address.
How Trend Micro Can Help
Be safe out there, folks! And remember:
- Double-check people’s contact details — and URLs.
- Reach out to official websites and support pages directly for help if in doubt.
- NEVER use links or buttons from unknown sources! Use Trend Micro Check to detect scams with ease: Trend Micro Check is an all-in-one browser extension and mobile app for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links — and it’s FREE!
After you’ve pinned the Trend Micro Check extension, it will block dangerous sites automatically! (Available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge).
You can also download the Trend Micro Check mobile app for 24/7 automatic scam and spam detection and filtering. (Available for Android and iOS).
In addition, ID Security will ensure you’re never the victim of a data breach. Available on Android and iOS, ID Security scours the dark web for any mention of your data the event of it being sold or maliciously shared by cybercriminals. Its key features include:
- Dark Web Personal Data Manager: Scours the dark web for data such as bank account numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, and social security numbers.
- Credit Card Checker: Find out if someone has acquired your credit card number and put it on the dark web.
- Email Checker: Find out if any of your email addresses have been leaked to the dark web. You’ll be notified which exact account it is — so you can take the appropriate counter-measures.
- Password Checker: ID Security will notify you if you’re using a password currently in circulation on the dark web.
- Social Media Account Checker: Find out if your Facebook and Twitter Account have been breached and shared on the dark web.
- A Comprehensive Monitoring Report
Simple, efficient, and easy-to-use, follow this link or scan the QR code below to try the free 30-day trial version today! And as ever, if this article has been of use and/or interest to you, please do SHARE it with family and friends to help keep the online community secure and protected.
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