More than 147 million people had their information compromised during a hack of credit reporting agency Equifax in March 2017. Social Security numbers, names, dates of birth and addresses were breached, along with credit card and driver's license numbers in some cases.
An online tool that uses a last name and the last six digits of a Social Security number to determine if the information was impacted. It can be found at the Equifax data breach settlement website.
If impacted, individuals will be able to click a link from the results page to file a claim.
Even if the information hasn't yet been used in a malicious way, Shawn Waldman, CEO and founder of Secure Cyber Defense, in Miamisburg, Ohio, said one of the most important things people can do is file a claim for free credit monitoring.
“Your Social Security number is your Social Security number. There’s no changing that,” Waldman said. “Don’t let your guard down because that’s what they want you to do.”
The claims process takes only minutes to file if impacted individuals only want free credit monitoring for 10 years. Supporting documentation is required for those who have paid for credit monitoring since discovering they were impacted in 2017 or spent other time or money on protecting their identities.
The credit reporting is part of an up to $700 million settlement Equifax reached earlier this week with a coalition of state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.
Cox Media Group