Following a recent data breach, all Hoosiers are advised to check their credit score to ensure their personal information is safe.
Equifax, a company that checks credit reports and scores, released Thursday that a data breach occurred between mid-May and July, causing 143 million Americans to have their information compromised, including names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers. Those affected include 3.8 million Hoosiers. The breach not only affected Equifax users, but affected an array of consumers.
“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” Richard Smith, chairman and CEO of Equifax, said on the company’s website. “We are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations.”
Attorney General Curtis Hill advised people to take steps to protect themselves and their personal information. Hoosiers can check if their information was compromised by visiting equifaxsecurity2017.com. If affected by the breach, Hill advises them to freeze their credit for free by visiting the attorney general’s website.
The company suggests you sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. It is providing free service for one year through TrustedID Premier — regardless of whether you’ve been affected by the breach.
Hoosiers can also reach out to banks, financial institutions and credit card companies to let them know they want to be alerted if a purchase more than a certain amount is made, said Betsy Isenberg, director of the Consumer Protection Division in the attorney general’s office.
While this is the first breach of this magnitude to strike the Hoosier state, according to Isenberg, it doesn’t mean each person whose information was compromised will see a direct impact.
“Sometimes the breach is an offensive act because a perpetrator was used,” Isenberg said. “Other times the breach is a security lapse but there is no guarantee that anyone saw it.”
At this time, Isenberg said she and Equifax don’t have enough information to know what caused the breach. However, she continues to caution Hoosiers to be proactive and prepared in the case their credit information is used.
Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.