The Cost of Data Breaches in the US

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The Cost of Data Breaches in the US

The security breach at Equifax, one of the three largest credit bureaus in the USA, compromised sensitive and private details of 143 million customers, which accounts for 44% of the United States population.

People who are anxious about their credit information being compromised and potential identity theft have been urged to contact Equifax as well as rival rating agencies TransUnion and Experian to get their credit frozen, or at the very least, monitored.

Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, as this provides an extra layer of protection and would make it hard for an identity thief to open an account in your name Fraud alerts are free and stay on your report for 90 days. A freeze takes consumers' credit reports out of circulation from the nation's three leading credit-monitoring firms: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. It will not prevent a thief from using any of your existing accounts, but a credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.

This means that any time you or any other entity - legitimate or otherwise - tries to check your credit and open up a new line of credit, you'll need to first "thaw" your credit report.

Washington Post: Equifax finally responds to swirling concerns over consumers' legal rights - "Sharp-eyed social media users have combed through the Equifax data breach site's fine print - and found what they argue is a red flag". Cyber security experts said it was among the largest hacks ever recorded and was particularly troubling due to the richness of the information exposed: names, birthdays, addresses and Social Security and driver's license numbers.

Equifax says "only a limited number of Canadians may have been affected".

Morfeld on Tuesday sent a letter to Equifax CEO Richard Smith calling for the company to comply with a Nebraska law requiring businesses to notify residents of security breaches that expose personal information. This information is exactly the information that we rely on to verify someone's identity.

Even worse, in the months leading up to the breach, Equifax was lobbying lawmakers and federal agencies to relax regulation of credit-reporting agencies.

It does cost $5 in OH to freeze your file, and $5 to "thaw" it if you're applying for a loan or credit card. On September 7, the website stated that my information was not impacted. This will alert law enforcement to be extra careful identifying a person they pull over, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Lynch is just one of many consumers feeling frustration with Equifax's response to the massive hack.

One way to stay on top of your credit report is to stagger when you get your report from each of the three credit reporting agencies throughout the year.

And now consumers are being offered the option to use DoNotPay, a chatbot originally touted as a "robot lawyer", to help them sue Equifax in state courts for negligence. "Hackers are resourceful criminals who are constantly looking to exploit any vulnerabilities, and I encourage everyone to educate themselves about how to best protect their personal information". Several readers said they received error messages there, too, when they tried to get a copy of their report.

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