Equifax Data Breach: How to File a Claim
In the fall of 2017, Equifax revealed that they had a data breach that possibly exposed the personal information of millions (and millions) of people. While Equifax denies any wrongdoing, and no judgment or finding of wrongdoing has been made there has been proposed class action settlement submitted in Federal Court on July 22, 2019, that could ultimately resolve lawsuits against Equifax.
— FTC (@FTC) July 25, 2019
How to find out if you quality for the Equifax settlement
The FTC is currently directing those possibly effected by the Equifax data breach to EquifaxBreachSettlement.com to see if they were exposed and how to file a claim.
Once you get to the Equifax claim website, you will be asked to enter your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number. You will then find out if your information was possibly compromised. Mine was:
How to File a Claim with Equifax
At this point, you will go through the steps to file a claim. They are offering a variety of claim and compensation offers, depending on your situation. Most people will opt for the $125 check or at least four years of free credit monitoring through three credit monitoring bureaus. To claim the $125, you will need to already have credit monitoring in place (or sign up for it now) and must continue it for another six months after you file the claim. There are plenty of free credit monitoring services out there, and you might already have it with one of your credit cards. My Discover card offers free credit monitoring so I qualify through that.
There is also an option to file fore MORE than just the $125. Most people will not qualify for this because most people didn’t even realize their information had been compromised. However, if you did spend time working on remedying the misuse of your personal information caused by the data breach, you will see information on how to request compensation for that as well.
is it safe to file a data breach claim agains Equifax?
Honestly, who knows anymore, clearly even the security companies can be breached however, these agencies are governed by the FTC and I feel comfortable in taking their advice when it comes to how to handle this situation. Although I must admit, it’s scary putting any information out there, but in this day and age, it’s pretty hard to prevent and the best you can do is to just stay on top of things.
Protecting your personal information moving forward
Protecting your personal information is no joke. I’m actually very protective of mine. I recently shared with you how to check to see if your online passwords and email had been compromised by checking Have I Been Pwned? to find out. I also highly recommend having credit monitoring accounts in place to keep an eye on your personal data, and as I mentioned above – maybe consider finding a good credit card company that does that for you.
How to protect your email accounts and personal information moving forward?
We live in crazy times and our information is everywhere, so you can never been too diligent in protecting your personal information. The key is to be smart and safe when it come to technology, and remember to always be cautious with things like your social security number (NEVER give it out over the phone!!) and your credit card information (NEVER, and I repeat NEVER save credit card numbers to your computer!!) … taking the time to be cautious with your personal information is worth it, I promise. Cleaning up a security breach can be a nightmare, just ask the folks at Equifax.
I have shared quite a bit about my feelings about teens and social media (everything from helping them to unplug from technology to setting social media and technology limits with teens but online security is just one more thing that we need to educate ourselves and our kids on.
Tools for Organizing Your Passwords and Personal Information
Just like with everything else, organization can be the key to keeping you and your information safe. There are a few tools that I use in our home to keep our personal information and personal records safe and accessible should we need them. This comes in handy for many reasons including needing information quickly for a security breach, personal emergency, or even just for applying for new credit cards, loans, etc. Having all of your information safe and protected will also save you time, money and sanity in the long run!
Again, Equifax denies any wrongdoing, and there has been no judgment or finding of wrongdoing as of yet. This information is just to help you down the paths that the FTC and Equifax are recommending at this time.