What to do if Equifax hack hits you?

Equifax breach could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, says Forrester analyst

When a company tries to fix a security breach, it's never a good sign when consumers feel less secure because of its remedies.

Equifax said it is alerting customers whose information was included in the breach via mail, and is working with state and federal authorities. The breach occurred between May and July, and hackers potentially accessed information including Social Security and driver's license numbers.

That same website offers users a year of free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection with TrustedID Premier, an Equifax product. "That's the big stick consumers have, and companies have been taking it away".

They also hire digital forensics firms to determine how and when hackers got in and what data were compromised, a timeline that tends to be scrutinized during litigation.

Go to each of the three major national credit bureaus and freeze your credit.

Following criticism from many in the infosec sphere, Equifax told The New York Times that it will be changing the PIN generation and request process: "While we have confidence in the current system, we understand and appreciate that consumers have questions about how PINs are now generated". On Monday, it said in a blog post it's "listening to issues consumers have experienced and their suggestions" and had made changes, such as increasing call center support. Equifax shares dropped more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

Equifax handles data on more than 820 million consumers and 91 million businesses worldwide. Equifax has also reconfigured its website to better direct consumers to information on the hack.

A credit freeze makes it so that new loans and credit accounts can't be opened in that person's name. You are allowed a free copy once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Maybe it has something to do with the stock market because according to Bloomberg News Chief Financial Officer John W. Gamble, Joseph M. Loughran III the president of US information solutions, and Rodolfo O. Ploder, the president of workforce solutions apparently sold large amounts of their shares of Equifax stock and totaled in almost $1.8 million in a matter of days after the breach was discovered on July 29.

After public pressure, Equifax added an opt-out provision on Friday. Chief among the questions lawmakers and consumer regulators are raising is whether the credit-reporting bureaus are subject to enough oversight. But that's when the company became aware it had been breached. Employers, landlords and utilities also use the bureaus' data to check up on consumers. Credit bureaus like Equifax are lightly regulated compared to other parts of the financial system.

But even in that case, Equifax is not offering the credit monitoring service until next week at the earliest. Use it as another layer of protection when logging into your email account and financial websites.

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