By Drew M. Smith
When Equifax was breached last year, many people were rightfully furious. 145 million social security numbers, mailing addresses and even driver’s licenses were compromised. The fact that it took months for the company to report the breach caused considerable outcry and forced top officials in the company to resign. In addition, Congress opened an investigation into the breaches and how they got this far.
Now, new reports are suggesting the breach was much worse than reported. In addition to the above information stolen, hackers found tax ids, email addresses, driver’s license issuance dates and their registration.1 This revelation is compounded by the fact some of this information isn’t normally shared by those filing taxes, instead they are gathered passively through a person’s personal history.
In situations such as this, you should put a freeze on your credit cards and potentially set up a fraud alert with one of the major credit reporting agencies. Freezes shut down any new credit lines from being made, while alerts force any credit handling business to contact you before approving a new line. In addition, you should also get credit reports periodically either online or a physical copy as the bureaus like Equifax by law has to provide it when asked.2 The hack was large but careful monitoring can help mitigate the damage.