Yesterday, I discovered my information was stolen in the Equifax data breach along with another 143 million people affecting roughly half the US population. Some are calling it the “Thanos” event in cybersecurity…actually, I’m the only one calling it that. The breach exposed names, social security numbers, birthdates and addresses, and it represents one of the most significant data breaches in history.
The Federal Trade Commission reached $575 million settlement with Equifax. As part of the agreement, affected consumers are entitled to $125 to offset the cost of identity theft protection or free identity theft protection through Equifax. A website has been set up where consumers can check if they’ve been affected and file a claim. There have been reports of several fake websites across the web set up to collect sensitive data on consumers. Be sure you’re going to the correct site, https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/. You can check to see if you’ve been affected by the breach here.
As if that weren’t enough, Capital One was also breached affecting 100 million US citizens. The information in this breach did not include social security numbers; however, it did included names, addresses, phone numbers, emails address, and dates of birth. Subsequently, there have been a number of fraudulent emails and phone calls pretending to be from Capital One attempting to obtain additional information. Capital One has issued a statement that they will not be calling you or emailing you to obtain information, and these attempts should immediately be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately, no one is going back in time to change the past and save the day. Maybe if we shout, “Nerds Assemble!” loud enough some computer savvy heroes out there will answer the call and band together to fight the forces of cyber evil. Until then, the best we can do is secure ourselves some good, old fashioned identity theft protection. Be careful, be smart, and stay safe!
This article is written by Matt Patton. Matt is the youngest Patton boy, a father of two, and a legal assistant at our firm. Though the content of this article is reviewed by a lawyer, this nor any post should be viewed as legal advice. For legal advice concerning your particular situation call our office.