Texas Tech University

Security Compromise at Equifax Credit Reporting Firm

Equifax recently announced a cybersecurity incident potentially affecting 143 million U.S. consumers (source). The information accessed includes names, social security numbers, birthdates, and addresses. In some instances, driver’s license and credit card numbers were also stolen. Based on Equifax’s investigation, the data breach occurred from mid-May through July 2017.

Equifax has established a site at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com with additional information about this security incident. On this site, customers may also check to see if their personal information was potentially compromised.

If you have confirmed or believe your information is compromised, the following options are available:

  • Enroll with a credit monitoring service.
  • In this specific instance, Equifax is offering their credit monitoring service at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll. Note: When you register, you will be given an enrollment date. You must return to the website on this date to complete your enrollment in the program. Equifax/TrustedID will not send reminders.
  • Utilize multi-factor authentication whenever available.
  • Enable account alerts for important accounts, e.g. credit card accounts.
  • Monitor your bank and credit card statements closely for suspicious activity.
  • If you find evidence that your identity has been stolen, report it immediately to https://www.identitytheft.gov.
  • Consider registering for fraud alerts with all credit bureaus (Equifax, Innovis, Experian, and TransUnion). These free alerts must be renewed every 90 days. An extended fraud alert can be set for a longer time period. With fraud alerts, you will be contacted before any credit applications are approved.
  • Alternatively, consider utilizing credit freezes with each of the credit bureaus. If you intend to apply for a loan or credit card, you must provide the PIN given to you during the credit freeze setup process. This service may require a small fee.
  • At least once a year, obtain and review your free annual credit reports from https://www.annualcreditreport.com/.
  • The Federal Trade Commission recommends filing your tax returns early to help prevent fraudulent filings.

We encourage you to be vigilant in practicing cybersecurity. You may find additional information about this security incident online at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, and more cybersecurity tips at http://cybersecurity.ttu.edu. For more information or questions, please contact your local IT expert or an area IT consultant. Some area IT consultants are listed online at http://cybersecurity.ttu.edu under “Additional Resources.”

Contact

Cybersecurity Practices Initiative: Lubbock