What the Equifax Security Breach Means for Your Small Business - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Branding Expert

What the Equifax Security Breach Means for Your Small Business

September 09, 2017

The Internet has been all abuzz about the recent data breach Equifax reported. Since Equifax is one of the three largest credit monitoring bureaus in the U.S. this breach of social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, credit card numbers, and other personal information could have impacted 143 million U.S. consumers. In other words, there is a good chance your personal details are in the hands of some bad guys. So what does this mean for you?

The Threat of Identity Theft
If someone opens up accounts or uses your personal information, this not only will impact your personal finances, it can bleed over into your business, impacting your ability to apply for credit or services you may need. That’s why it is critical to take action now and be vigilant moving forward.

Was Your Personal Information Compromised?

Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to enter your last name and last few digits of your social security number (not the entire number) to see if you were impacted in the security breach. If you were you can enroll in one-year of free security monitoring.

What’s the Catch?

Well…some are saying that by enrolling  in Equifax’s TrustedID Premier security monitoring service for a year forces them to waive their rights to participate in a class-action lawsuit based on conditions laid out in Equifax’s Terms of Service.

However, according to MarketWatch.com, “Equifax said the class-action waiver applies to TrustedID ‘and not the cybersecurity incident.’ But given the extent of the latest data breach, many people have said asking customers to waive their right to a class-action lawsuit should something go awry with TrustedID is, at best, a case of bad timing.”

What Should You Do Next?

  1. If you don’t trust signing up for Equifax’s TrustedID Premier, sign up for a credit monitoring service that you do trust.
  2. Routinely monitor your bank accounts and credit cards. (This should be done, anyway, but now it’s really a must!)
  3. Freeze your credit files *with all three major bureaus.* This added layer of protection prevents anyone who has your personal information from opening accounts in your name, however you can still open lines of credit or have a legitimate application for service with a personal identification number (PIN) that only you know. When I froze my credit years ago after having my purse stolen in another state, creditors had to call me and speak to me personally before processing any application. To learn more about it, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Credit Freeze FAQ page. You can call the bureaus at these numbers: Equifax 1-800-349-9960, Experian 1‑888‑397‑3742, TransUnion 1-888-909-8872.

What Steps Should Your Business Take to Protect Your Customers?

  1. Teach your employees to never click on links or attachments they are not expecting or that look suspicious, as well as to never share sensitive data with anyone.
  2. Keep your team looped in on the latest hacks and scams so they stay vigilant.
  3. Use reputable anti-virus software and consider a firewall or monitoring tools so you can get ahead of threats.
  4. Use a variety of passwords and a password manager like LastPass or One Password to share access, rather than actually telling your passwords to a variety of different people who may need access to password protected software and sites.
  5. Protect your website through a service like AccessWP so you have a pro website team keeping an eye on your online shop.



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