The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do
What cardholders can do:
- Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to check whether he or she is one of the 143 million people whose data may have been compromised
- Set fraud alerts - all bureaus
- Monitor credit activity (www.annualcreditreport.com, etc.)
- Reset account passwords, PIN codes and other log-in credentials on financial accounts that may be vulnerable.
- Establish multiple-authentication protocols for financial accounts and email, when possible
- Establish credit monitoring service through Equifax or through other service providers
Am I at risk, and what is Equifax doing to help?
Equifax is proposing that customers sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. It is giving free service for one year through its TrustedID Premier business, regardless of whether you've been impacted by the hack.
To enroll and/or check whether you were affected, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the Check Potential Impact tab. You'll need to provide your last name and the last six digits of your social security number. Once submitted, you will receive a message indicating whether you've been affected.
Then, you have the option to enroll in the program, but you can't actually sign up for the service until next week. Each customer is provided an enrollment date starting earliest on Monday.
Can I sue Equifax?
If you sign up for Equifax's offer of free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring, you may be limiting your rights to sue and be forced to take disputes to arbitration. But you can opt out of that provision if you notify the company in writing within 30 days. In addition, some attorneys argue that even if you don't opt out, the arbitration provision does not cover suits related to this breach.
Is anyone investigating the breach?
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a formal investigation into the hack on Friday.
Meanwhile, Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and ranking member John Conyers calling for a hearing to investigate the data breach.
The House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, also said his committee will hold a hearing on the breach.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking into the breach as well
"The CFPB is authorized to take enforcement action against institutions engaged in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, or that otherwise violate federal consumer financial laws. We are looking into the data breach and Equifax's response, but cannot comment further at this time," a spokesperson told CNNMoney.