Equifax Data Breach
Review advice, updates, and news from West Gate Bank!
September 15, 2017
Credit reporting agency Equifax disclosed last week that they experienced a "cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million US customers". According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
To determine if you are potentially part of this breach, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. You can enter some personal information and the site will tell you whether you might be affected. Be sure you are on a secure network when you submit sensitive data over the internet.
Equifax offers solutions on this site for consumers that might be part of the breach. Whether you are or not, the following are some basic steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft:
1. Monitor your bank accounts and credit cards, ideally weekly, to make sure you recognize the activity that is posting. One way of making that task a little easier is by setting up online alerts on your credit card and bank accounts, triggered by parameters like your balance or the size of the transaction. If you haven't already, you can sign up for InstAlert on your West Gate Bank accounts.
2. Change your passwords on accounts, using a strong password. For more on strong passwords, read this blog post from Infogressive.
3. Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—for free—by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft.
If you have questions or concerns about your West Gate Bank account, please feel free to contact your local branch or call us at 402.434.3456.