Equifax Data Breach

The Equifax data breach has impacted potentially 145 million people. The scope of the information that was compromised has not been confirmed, but it is reported that it may include names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth and potentially credit account numbers. Below is some information regarding what you can do in response to the breach:

  • Equifax has set up a web site — https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ — that anyone concerned can visit to see if they may be impacted by the breach. The site also lets consumers enroll in TrustedID Premier, a 3-bureau credit monitoring service (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) which also is operated by Equifax.
  • You may want to review your credit report to ensure that all credit inquires and reports are legitimate. You can receive one free credit report per year form any one of the three credit agencies – TransUnion, Experian or Equifax or you may also receive it from online sites such as www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • You also have the ability to place a  fraud alert on your credit report for a 90 day period which limits credit being established without your approval/identity confirmation. The steps for establishing a fraud alert can be found at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert.
  • Another option is to place a credit freeze on your credit. This freeze will not allow credit to be established in your name without the freeze being ‘lifted’. This freeze must be requested in writing with each of the three credit agencies.  In addition, there are nominal fees to place and remove the freeze at each of the credit agencies. The steps for placing a credit freeze can be found here: Security Freeze Information.
  • It is very important that you monitor your accounts closely and often for any suspicious or unauthorized transactions.  Review your monthly statements closely and notify the bank as soon as possible if you see any unauthorized transactions.
  • eStatements provide online access to your account statements.  You are alerted when a new statement becomes available and they are stored behind the security of online banking. You will receive your statement sooner than in the mail and it ensures your statement will not be lost.
  • Online Banking and our Mobile Banking apps provide an easy and secure way to monitor account activity and balances on a continual basis.
  • Be sure to monitor bill payments and bill payment payees for any unauthorized transactions.
  • Both our mobile banking online banking provide automatic alerts through text and email that can be set to notify you of activity or balance changes on your accounts and debit cards.  See the ‘Manage Alert’ in the Customer Service tab of our online banking.

Please view the Resources section of our web site for more security and identity theft tools: https://www.bridgewatersavings.com/resources/.