Equifax Data Breach
Computer security is a "hobby" of mine so I want to make sure the people I care about understand the gravity of the Equifax data breach and how to respond.
What you should know
Back in July, criminals broke into Equifax's computers and stole information on at least 143 million Americans (the U.S. population is 323 million). The stolen information includes social security numbers, dates of birth, and other sensitive information.
What you shouldn't do
Equifax is offering a free 1-year subscription to their identify theft service. At this time I do not recommend people enroll in this service. The value of these types of services is questionable and there is some confusion around whether enrolling in the service from Equifax waives your right to participate in a class action lawsuit against them.
What you should do
As soon as possible you should freeze your credit. This prevents anyone (including you) from checking your credit or acquiring a line of credit in your name.
In order to freeze your credit you will need to visit each of the three credit reporting agencies and fill out a request. Note that depending on which state you live in there might be a fee.
More information about credit freezing can be found at: