Buzz, cybersecurity, Equifax, hackers, hacking, Tech

How to tell if you’re one of the 143 million Americans affected by the Equifax hack

Are you in there?

Image: Christopher Mineses/mashable 

So Equifax was hacked. Like, badly. But how to tell if you, personally, are affected by the massive data breach? There’s a website for that — as long as you don’t mind forking over even more information to Equifax. 

The credit reporting agency announced Thursday that private identifying information on potentially 143 million US citizens was accessed by “criminals,” and that the information in question could include names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and even possibly driver’s license numbers.

Like we said, it’s bad. 

But don’t worry! Equifax is here to save the day! And, like we said, if you trust them with your personal information (which, maybe not a great idea?), the process of determining if you’ll now need to keep an eye out for identity theft should be a breeze. 

Head to the company’s website, and warily type in the last six digits of your social security number along with your last name. (Or don’t, as it’s possible that giving a company that just got hacked even more of your data is not the best play.)

“Based on that information,” the site tells us, “you will receive a message indicating whether your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.”

I followed those steps, and received no such notification. Maybe that means I’m one of the lucky ones. Or maybe it means Equifax is still working out the bugs. 

My colleague, however, had a slightly different experience. She went through the above process and did receive a message. 

It’s that kind of consistency that really inspires confidence, ya know? Especially when followed by a pitch to sign up for Equifax’s TrustedID Premier — the company’s credit monitoring program — even if it is offering the service to US customers free of charge for one year.

We reached out to the company for clarification, but have received no response. We’ll update this when and if we hear back. 

But don’t worry, the company also plans to “send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.” 

So keep your eyes on your mailboxes — you might be soon receiving an unwelcome surprise. 

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