Over 143 Million Americans Had Their Data Breached
It may be too late to protect yourself from the recent Equifax breach, but there are key steps everyone should take to protect themselves in the future. According to Equifax, as many as 143 million people in the United States were hit by this hack which happened sometime between May and July. It's reported that social security numbers, addresses and credit card information were compromised, along with other "personal identifying information." Equifax released an additional report on March 1, 2018 stating that an additional 2.4 million Americans were impacted during the breach in 2017.
Read below to learn how to check the status of your data, the suggested steps to take if your information has been compromised and the one Hughes product that will give you peace of mind during future hacks like this.
Was your information accessed?
If your information was breached, you will receive a letter in the mail but in the meantime, Equifax is making it very easy to check your status. The company has set up a specific website where users can enter their last name and last 6 digits of their social security number to produce a message about whether or not their information was breached.
What should you should do next?
Okay, so you're one of the unlucky 143 million. That's okay! Equifax is offering a year's worth of free services because of the breach. These services include identify theft protection and credit file monitoring. It's recommended that you review your account statements and credit reports yourself to check for fraud. Keep in mind that you're allowed a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies and this might be a good time to take advantage. Click here to get your reports today at NO charge, and report any activities you don't recognize. If you think you have been a victim of fraud visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do next.
Knowing your credit score is essential to managing your finances and at Hughes we are happy to offer members a Credit Score Enhancement session. We will help arm you with the information you need to improve your score, whether your information was breached or not!
How do you stop identity theft in the future?
If your information was not breached but this is the wake up call you've been waiting for, Hughes is here as a defense against issues like this in the future. Our Checking PLUS account provides members with multiple perks, including access to the Benefits Plus program. Benefits Plus offers real savings on products and services, including Identity Theft Restoration services, cell phone repair coverage and more.
Hughes Federal Credit Union is currently offering our members and future members a free 90 day, no obligation trial of Checking PLUS*. Become a Hughes member today to get access to these benefits! If you're already a member and would like to add a Checking PLUS account or upgrade your current checking account click here.
*A $5.95 monthly fee applies after free 90-day no obligation trial period.