Media Coverage

How to prepare for the next Equifax-type data theft

Maybe you were affected by the Equifax data breach. Maybe you weren’t. Either way, experts say, it’s time to start looking ahead, to the inevitable next hack.

“What we tell consumers is to expect your personal information has been compromised, whether or not you’ve been notified or a breach,” said consumer advocate Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. “That’s a sorry state of affairs, but it’s the unfortunate reality today.”

Credit reporting company Equifax announced last week that it had suffered a data breach affecting an estimated 143 million consumers, exposing names, Social Security numbers and other data., the company’s site set up to assess the impact, seems to be a kind of magic eight ball — with reports that even combos like the last name “Test” and Social Security partial “123456,” or an SSN of all zeroes, turn up warnings that “your personal information may have been affected.”

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