With 143 million Americans possibly affected by the Equifax data breach, if you’re an adult with a credit card, it’s more likely than not that you’ve had your data stolen.
The problem with the Equifax breach is that it’s a gateway to so many other possible breaches. Every bit of credit you have in the world is cataloged by Equifax and the other credit ratings agencies. Now it’s possible that along with your roster of credit card and loan information, your Social Security number, driver’s license number, address and more have been leaked.
The stock market is already hammering Equifax shares, and the response will be long and painful for everyone involved. AnnaMaria Andriotis and Ezequiel Minaya write at The Wall Street Journal:
Reports of the breach sent shares of Equifax sliding 12.6% to $124.51 in after-hours trading.
Equifax also said credit-card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers were accessed, as well as dispute documents with sensitive information for another 182,000 people.
With the Equifax attack, banks now will have to reissue cards for the approximately 209,000 credit cards stolen in the breach, but for consumers the theft uniquely identifying information such as Social Security numbers and birth dates could have a permanent effect. Additionally, a limited number of people in Canada and the U.K. were affected, the company said.
Stock of other financial companies weren’t initially affected with shares of credit-card issuers and big banks mostly unchanged or up slightly in after-hours trading.
Equifax said it has set up a website—www.equifaxsecurity2017.com—to help consumers determine if their information has been compromised and to allow them to sign up for a complimentary slate of credit-monitoring and identity-theft protection. The company also has established a dedicated call center for consumers.
Read more here.