Bad news — legit or not — can come from credit reporting bureaus at any time for any one individual, but one of the big ones has dropped a wallop on, well, almost everyone. On Thursday, Equifax Inc. disclosed a mysterious cybersecurity “incident,” which it says may have potentially impacted up to 143 million U.S. consumers. The bureau reports that its investigation into the matter is now “complete,” but the finer details of what happened have yet to surface. CNBC reports a few specifics in its breezy breaking news:
Equifax said it discovered the breach on July 29. Leaked data includes names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and potentially drivers licenses. 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were also obtained, in addition to “certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.”
In other words, there’s a good chance that this breach resulted in your social security number (and more) leaking, and it’s all possibly floating around in the ether for any number of nefarious purposes. Some Canadian consumers have also had their data compromised, but Tech Crunch adds that Equifax has set up a way for folks to check whether they belong to the unlucky group:
The company has set up a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, for people to check if their data was leaked and to what extent. As is often the case after leaks like this, the company is offering a free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection, which you may want to take advantage of if your information was involved.
This is bad news for, let’s face it, the majority of people who will be affected by the breach. However, one Twitter user sees the bright side…