On September 7th, Equifax announced a massive data breach that resulted in the loss of personally identifiable information for approximately 143 million customers. As one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the country, Equifax holds personal information for nearly half of all Americans, including: name, address, social security number, and birthdate. The unauthorized access of this information occurred between mid-May 2017 and July 2017.
The SJU Office of Information Technology (OIT) urges anyone who may have been affected by this breach to take steps to protect their online accounts. Steps to take include:
- Request records from the credit-reporting companies. Check with Experian and TransUnion, as well as Equifax.
- Change your passwords.
- Use two-factor authentication wherever possible to prevent hackers from accessing your personal accounts.
- Check all your online accounts for suspicious activity. This includes email, bank accounts, credit cards and any other sites that contain personal information.
- For additional information, check the Federal Trade Commission web site: https://identitytheft.gov/
As a note, please continue to be especially wary of links in emails. Hackers may try and use this incident as an opportunity to attempt to get your information through phishing. Equifax will send direct postal mail to consumers that have been affected. You will not be notified by email or telephone if you are impacted by the breach.
Since the announcement, Equifax has made a site available where you can check to see if you may have been impacted by this data breach. For full information, please visit https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
As a reminder, OIT will never ask for your password. If you are ever in doubt about an email that you’ve received, please contact the Technology Service Center at 610-660-2920 and we can help you determine its validity. If you’ve received an email that you are certain is spam, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is used by our email system administrators to help strengthen our anti-spam servers.