As part of its 8-K filing to the SEC, Equifax has unveiled the full extent of their massive 2017 146 million user data breach. With the huge amount of people affected, almost half of all Americans, and the massive media exposure, hopefully most victims have been proactive in monitoring their credit to make sure no funny business is going on.
This new report, though, is really eye opening as it shows exactly what information was exposed and for how many people. We are talking about addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, genders, phone numbers, drivers license numbers, credit card numbers, tax ID, and the state of your drivers license.
Data Element Stolen
Standardized Columns Analyzed
|Name||First Name, Last Name, Middle Name, Suffix, Full Name||146.6 million|
|Date of Birth||D.O.B.||146.6 million|
|Social Security Number2||SSN||145.5 million|
|Address Information||Address, Address2, City, State, Zip||99 million|
|Phone Number||Phone, Phone2||20.3 million|
|Driver’s License Number3||DL#||17.6 million|
|Email Address (w/o credentials)||Email Address||1.8 million|
Payment Card Number and Expiration Date
|CC Number, Exp Date||209,000|
|Driver’s License State||DL License State||27,000|
|Source: Equifax Form 8-K Exhibit|
The fact that any company stores such a huge amount of information about an individual, when that individual never worked directly with them, is down right scary to me.
For anyone who was affected and did not do anything, you should really add a credit freeze to prevent new credit from being taken out using your information. If you take out new lines of credit often, then at a bare minimum you should add a fraud alert so that the creditors call you first before opening new accounts.