Data Breaches

Equifax Hack Includes More Data Than First Reported - Here's What to Do About It

By Steve Symanovich, a Symantec employee

The Equifax data breach was broader than previously known with more types of information exposed, according to a new report.

What should you do? Learn about the latest findings and consider what measures you may want to take to help protect yourself against identity theft.

What’s different now?

The Equifax data breach, first made public in September 2017, may have raised the risk of identity theft for more than 145 million U.S. consumers. Equifax said hackers accessed data that included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers (in some cases).

Now, it appears than additional information was accessed in the hack, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper gleaned the new information after reviewing a document Equifax submitted to the Senate Banking Committee.

Here’s the list:

  • Individual tax identification numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Additional driver’s license data than originally disclosed.

What you can do about it

Individual tax identification numbers : The Internal Revenue Service sometimes assigns individual tax identification numbers to people who don’t have a Social Security number. Individual tax identity numbers are only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses and dependents, according to the IRS.

If you have an individual tax identification number, you can find out if your personal information was exposed in the breach through Equifax at equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Email addresses: Identity thieves may not be able to commit identity fraud with just an email address. But email addresses can sometimes be combined with other personal information to commit identity theft, or to request password changes. That’s one reason why it’s important to create strong passwords for your email accounts.

Driver’s license information: Driver’s license information accessed in the Equifax data breach included more than driver’s license numbers, according to the Wall Street Journal article. The additional information included driver’s license issue dates and states.

You can check to see if your driver’s license was affected in the breach at equifaxsecurity2017.com. The added information could potentially create more ways for identity thieves to use your information to commit identity fraud. For instance, an entity that seeks a driver’s license number as a form of identification would probably also want to know the state where it was issued.

Consumers can take steps to protect themselves and their information by learning ways to help protect against identity theft in the wake of the Equifax breach. Some protection options include credit freezes, fraud alerts, credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.

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