On September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of the three largest U.S. credit bureaus, announced a massive data breach affecting 143 million consumers. As a result, they established a website – www.equifaxsecurity2017.com – to address the issue and keep consumers up to date on the latest news around the breach. Included in the website is a list of actions they have taken, frequently asked questions (FAQs), a link to determine if you may have been affected by the breach, and a link for free credit monitoring for a year from TrustedID.
You can follow these steps to determine if you may be affected:
If you are interested in obtaining one year of free credit monitoring, you’ll be given an enrollment date. At that given time, return to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and follow the steps to enroll. It is important to note that free credit monitoring is open to everyone even if you do not believe you were affected by the breach.
The best way to protect yourself is to stay informed. Here are a few tips we recommend for protecting yourself:
If you are aware that your personal information has been compromised, you can place a free fraud alert on your account. This will require a business to notify you if someone tries to open an account in your name. A fraud alert lasts for 90 days, but can be renewed, or if you are a victim of identity theft, you can choose to have an extended fraud alert for seven years.
A credit freeze actually restricts access to your report completely. Fees for a credit freeze are limited to a maximum of $10 per credit bureau. A credit freeze is a greater protection than a fraud alert; however, it also requires the freeze be removed and reapplied each time you need to have your credit reviewed by someone other than yourself.
We live in a world reliant on electronic access and delivery of information. It is important to remain proactive and protect your information as best you can. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about protecting your information, we encourage you to reach out to us.
How Longview Protects Your Information
The internet has increased the speed and ease at which we can provide and access information, but it has also created another entry point for thieves. It is a growing struggle for businesses to stay ahead and put protections in place. It is a scary reminder that if large organizations, like Equifax, can be breached, so can the smaller businesses, like Longview. That is why it is so important for us to maintain policies to review and protect our client’s information. Here are a few of the policies and procedures Longview has implemented to protect your data:
In addition to Longview’s protections, Fidelity has a customer protection guarantee that covers losses from unauthorized activity in your account.
As always, thank you for your business. We value your partnership and will continue to strive to protect your information.
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