SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–Nearly half of all Americans are sharing something in common; being impacted by a massive Equifax data breach.
Equifax is one of three nationwide credit reporting companies to be targeted by cyber attackers.
Reaction from people about the latest cyber attack goes something like this.
“Equifax is one of the biggest companies so it’s pretty scary,” says consumer Stephany Demster.
“It’s awful,” says a consumer.
“I’m going to go in there and figure out I guess if I was a victim or not,” says consumer Piper Dorman.
“Considering the number of people potentially involved, I think it’s a very serious thing that’s going on right now,” says Joe Stokes, CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling.
That number is over 140 million people. Names, social security numbers, birth dates, drivers’ license numbers, and in some cases credit card numbers all in the hands of cyber thieves.
“Technology today kind of scares me because of the fact that all of our information is out there. Our information can be stolen,” says Demster.
“It stinks,” says Dorman.
According to Joe, a massive data breach all starts from having idle time.
“You got hackers out there that they spend probably almost full time hacking into the systems and they turn around and sell it so it’s big money for them,” says Stokes.
In the case of Equifax, the hack happened in mid May with company officials discovering it late July.
“The first thing I would watch is my credit card statements for 60 to 90 days. One thing about people who do this, they won’t use it immediately. They wait six, nine, twelve months before they actually use the information,” says Stokes.
If your information has or does become used, Equifax is making up for it.
“They’re offering a million dollars identity theft protection for up to a year so Equifax is really going above and beyond,” says Stokes.
Meanwhile, it’s suggested to cancel potential compromised accounts and be careful where you use your card in the future.
“If the person at the cashier takes your credit card back to another room that is suspect that they may be taking information that they should not be taking,” says Stokes.