Most Americans have heard about the Equifax cybersecurity breach this summer that affected some 143 million Americans when hackers accessed victims’ full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and some driver’s license numbers. However, a new poll explains that many still have not increased measures to protect themselves.
Research firm SSRS recently conducted a poll to find out how many Americans had heard about the breach and how concerned they were about potential theft of their own personal information. Two-thirds of respondents expressed that they were very concerned or somewhat concerned that they were impacted by the breach. But only 19 percent said they had actually checked to see if their personal information had been compromised.
Among the respondents who said they took action:
- 36% placed a fraud alert on their credit
- 28% enrolled in Equifax’s free credit-monitoring service
- 20% purchased another credit-monitoring service
- 21% froze their credit
On the other hand, 31 percent of those polled said they were not too concerned or not at all concerned about the breach.
Everyone Should Take These Steps Immediately
If you have not yet checked to see if you were impacted by the Equifax breach, use a secure computer to visit equifaxsecurity2017.com right away. Search for your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number under the “Potential Impact” tab. You will receive a message indicating whether your personal information may have been stolen during the breach.
Regardless of whether you were impacted, now is a very good time to increase your protection of your sensitive information and monitor your accounts. Enroll in identity theft protection and credit-monitoring services to keep on top of activity. Equifax is offering a service for free to anyone who signs up — not just individuals whose information was stolen in the breach.
Check your credit reports for free at annualcreditreport.com. If you notice activity you don’t recognize, visit www.identitytheft.gov right away for instructions. You can also place a credit freeze or a fraud alert on your files. More on that process here.
Whether or not you were impacted by the Equifax security breach, take it as a reminder to do your due diligence to prevent future identity theft.
About John Bair
John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com/.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).