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The Equifax Data Breach

 

The Equifax Data Breach

Have you been affected? If so, how can you try to protect yourself?

 

Provided by Retirement Income Advisors

 

On September 7, credit reporting agency Equifax dropped a consumer bombshell. It revealed that cybercriminals had gained access to the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans between May and July – about 44% of the U.S. population. The culprits were able to retrieve roughly 209,000 credit card numbers, in addition to many Social Security and driver’s license numbers.1

 

How can you find out if you were affected? Visit equifaxsecurity2017.com, the website Equifax just created for consumers. There, you can enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number to find out. (Having to enter the last six digits of your SSN hints at how significant this breach is.)2

 

If you are among the consumers whose data was hacked, Equifax will ask you to return to equifaxsecurity2017.com to enroll in an identity theft protection product, TrustedID Premier. This program will provide you with free credit monitoring for a year. (The lingering question is whether your data could be used easily by criminals afterward.)1,2

 

How should you respond? Beyond simply taking Equifax up on its offer of one year of identity theft insurance and free credit monitoring, you can take other steps.

 

Check your credit reports now. (Unless you have already done so in the past month). You can get one free credit report per year from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. To request yours, go to annualcreditreport.com. Scrutinize your credit card and bank account statements for unfamiliar activity, and sign up for email or text alerts offered by your bank or credit card issuer(s), so that notice of anything suspicious can quickly reach you.

 

Consider changing the password for your main email account. A weak password on that account is a low bar for a cybercrook to hurdle – and once hurdled, that crook could potentially pose as you to change the passwords on your financial accounts.3

 

Regarding bank, investment, and credit card account passwords, avoid the obvious. Too many people use simple passwords based on their pet’s name, their last name and year of birth, the high school they attended, etc. Sadly, these same simple facts are often answers to security questions for credit card and bank accounts. Ask your bank or credit card issuer if you can use additional, random words or a PIN for passwords or security question answers. That way, you can avoid logging in using data that is in the public record. You want your password to be long and random, to make it harder for a would-be thief to guess.

 

You may want to consider paying for additional identity theft protection for years to come. This is one way to try and shield yourself from the unauthorized use of your Social Security number, driver’s license number, email accounts, and credit card numbers.

 

If someone calls you out of the blue claiming to be from Equifax, do not cooperate with them. Unless Equifax is returning your call, they will not contact you by phone. The same applies if you get a random, unsolicited email or text from “Equifax” – do not comply, or you may inadvertently hand over personal information to a fraudster. Stay vigilant, today and in the future.

           

Retirement Income Advisors may be reached at 732-455-9990 or info@retire-usa.com.

http://www.retire-usa.com/

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

 

<<RepresentativeDisclosure>>

    

Citations.

1 - wired.com/story/how-to-protect-yourself-from-that-massive-equifax-breach/ [9/7/17]

2 - washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/09/08/after-data-breach-equifax-asks-consumers-for-social-security-numbers-to-see-if-theyve-been-affected [9/8/17]

3 - cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2017/09/devastating_data_breach_at_equ.html [9/8/17]

 

Denny Frasiolas and Artie Bernaducci are investment advisor representatives of, and securities and advisory services are offered through, USA Financial Securities Corp., Member FINRA/SIPC. www.finra.org A Registered Investment Adviser located at 6020 E. Fulton St., Ada, MI 49301. Retirement Income Advisors, LLC is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities.

 

Denny Frasiolas and Artie Bernaducci are authorized to transact securities related business and investment advisory services only in states where he is properly registered. For investment products and services these states include: (Artie: NC, NJ, NY) (Denny: NJ, NY) . For investment advisory services these states include:(Artie: NC, NJ) (Denny: FL, NJ) Additionally, clients who are not residents of these states cannot be serviced. This website is not intended to provide investment, legal, or tax advice, nor to effect securities transactions or to render personal advice for compensation. 

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