The Equifax Data Breach: What you need to know

Posted on Sep 8th, 2017

One of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, has incurred one of the most significant data breaches in recent history. Up to 143 million Americans – roughly 44% of the American population – have been impacted by the breach. Names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, some driver’s license numbers, some credit card numbers and some credit-report dispute documents were accessed by criminals who exploited a website vulnerability.

Equifax has hired a cybersecurity company to conduct a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax will mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or records of credit disputes were accessed.

Mid Penn Bank is following this closely and seeking answers as quickly as possible. We are also offering the following tips to help protect yourself and your personal information:

  • Check online bank and credit card statements regularly, ideally every week.
  • Place a credit freeze on your file with all three major U.S. credit-reporting companies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This will help prevent criminals from taking out credit cards, mortgages, lines of credit or other debt in your name. Contact information is listed at the bottom.
  • Check all your online accounts for improper or unusual activity. This includes regularly monitoring your bank accounts and any other financial accounts, as well as email and social media accounts.
  • If you receive a notification of security issues via text, email or any other media, do not click on it, but instead access your account directly to check for notification from the company, and if none is present, contact the company. Hackers may use the Equifax breach to launch “spearphishing” attacks that can expose you to identity theft and other cybercrime when you click on a link.
  • Change your password and other secret credentials. If you used the same password on other accounts, change those passwords too.
  • Make all new passwords different and difficult to guess. Include upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols to make passwords harder to crack.
  • Use two-factor authentication wherever possible.

Contact information for the credit bureaus:

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion