What the Equifax Data Breach Means for You

WHAT THE EQUIFAX DATA BREACH MEANS FOR YOU:

Guidewell Financial Solutions Identifies Ways You Can Protect Yourself

Reports estimate that nearly 143 million U.S. consumers were affected by the recent Equifax data breach.  In the era of becoming #CreditConfident, it is important to monitor your risk in the aftermath of one the largest data breaches in recent history.

Why a Data Breach Can Be Devastating

The Equifax data breach has potentially compromised the private information of millions of Americans. Individuals’ names, social security numbers, addresses, birth dates and driver’s license numbers were stolen. This may result in full identity theft for those affected.

Medical identity theft, tax fraud, and new identity creation in the form of bank accounts and 401k/retirement plans are major damages which can result due to the loss of consumers’ personal information. According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims of identity theft pay, on average, $631.00 per incident to recover their identities and expend an average of 600 hours managing related problems.

Identity theft can also lead to job opportunities being denied, credit being destroyed, and difficulty taking out a mortgage or car loan. Victims ultimately experience a sense of personal violation and loss of peace of mind.

How Can a Data Breach Occur?

In today’s digital world, the increasing challenge of minimalizing and managing cyber threats is an issue across industries.  As a consumer, it is important to take measures to right credit wrongs and take advantage of identity protection services to avoid falling prey to these types of breaches.

At Guidewell Financial we offer comprehensive credit counseling to assist in rectifying credit statements across varying accounts. We also recommend securing privacy by sharing your private information only with secured, reputable agencies.

How Long After a Data Breach Can I Be Affected?

To remedy the breach in data, Equifax is offering consumers one year of free credit monitoring.  This does not mean that your information will be safe after just one year. 

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