If you are an adult living in the US who has held or inquired about services such as credit cards, mortgages and loans, bank accounts, cell phone plans, and apartment rentals then you are a potential victim of the Equifax breach.
As many people have already found out, enrolling on EquifaxSecurity2017.com may not give a concrete answer on whether one’s personal data is affected by the breach. If you have yet to take any action to protect your data then we highly recommend you either freeze your credit or set up a fraud alert.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a credit freeze affect my credit score?
No, a credit freeze does not affect your credit score. It also does not prevent you from getting your free annual credit report.
Do I need to unfreeze all three credit bureaus anytime I need to supply my credit report?
No, ask your potential lender or creditor which bureau they will be inquiring into. Unfreeze the one they specify.
Does a credit freeze prevent you from opening new accounts?
No, you can still open a new account, apply for apartment rental, buy insurance etc. after a credit freeze is in place. You will just need to lift the freeze temporarily, either for a specific duration or for a specific entity.
Who can see my credit report while its frozen?
According to the FTC, there are two general entities that may have access to your report while you have a credit freeze in place. The first are existing creditors or debt collectors acting on their behalf. These would be companies with which you already have credit cards, loans, a mortgage etc. The second would be government agencies who may need access in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a search warrant.
How do I confirm whether my personal data is affected by the hack?
There is no way of getting a definite answer. Even the site that Equifax set up to deal with this issue provides very vague responses.
Other Helpful Tips
Getting a PIN via phone from Equifax
A number of people warned that when you apply for a credit freeze with Equifax via the automated phone system, they will state the PIN before you are ready to note it down. If you missed hearing the PIN then try pressing the * button to have the system repeat it.
Equifax Waiving Credit Freeze Fees
Equifax announced that they will be waiving credit freeze fees until November 21st 2017. They will also refund those who have paid since September 7th 2017.