Equifax data breach: What you need to know

Posted at 3:14 PM, Sep 13, 2017

With 143 million people potentially impacted by a massive data breach at credit reporting agency Equifax, there's a good chance your personal information was exposed to hackers.

Information obtained in the hack includes names, social security numbers, addresses, birth dates and some driver's license numbers.

"If you apply for a credit card or you apply for car loans...Equifax is where they are getting your report from so they have a lot of information," said Chip Filer, Chair of Old Dominion University's Department of Economics.

Equifax established a website to help people find out if their information was compromised and help protect that information.

If your information was determined to be vulnerable the Federal Trade Commission suggests the following:

  • Watch your credit report for any changes
  • Consider a credit freeze to keep anyone (including yourself) from opening new credit in your name
  • Check your bank and credit card statements for activity you don't recognize
  • Consider putting a fraud alert on files
  • File tax returns early

Filer says you can also look into identity theft protection.

Equifax is offering that protection through its "TrustedIDPremier" program, but if you're not comfortable with that option there are others.

"If you want to talk to your financial institution yourself, a lot of financial institutions will offer the customer some kind of identity protection through a third-party vendor," said Filer.

News 3 reached out to Equifax over the phone to see if there were other ways to find out if information was compromised. We were told they're hoping to have a dedicated number by 5 p.m. Wednesday.