While not the largest breach - attacks on Yahoo leaked data on as many as one billion accounts - the Equifax incident could be the most damaging because of the nature of data collected: bank and social security numbers and personal information of value to hackers and others. Criminals can use those bits of personal information to commit identity theft.
Starting Dec. 31, and extending seven years, all USA consumers may request up to six free copies of their Equifax credit report during any 12-month period as well.
Equifax had been warned in March that one of its databases - the Equifax Automated Consumer Interview System (ACIS) - suffered from a critical vulnerability, according to the FTC statement.
File photo taken in 2012 shows a corporate sign at the headquarters of Equifax in Atlanta, Ga. Some were as simple as having an outdated list of computer systems administrators. Neither the company nor government agencies have disclosed who was behind the data breach. "Thanks to this settlement, Equifax will be held accountable and affected North Carolinians will see restitution".
You can not file a claim yet.
The company will also extend credit monitoring services for 10 years for impacted consumers.
For the time you spent dealing with the breach.
In addition to possible cash compensation or credit monitoring-which may be provided by Equifax itself-beginning in 2020, Equifax must provide six additional free credit reports per year to all U.S. consumers for a period of seven years, in addition to the three free credit reports per year consumers are already entitled to receive. "We did not choose Equifax", Frosh said.
Consumers who decide not to enroll in the free credit monitoring available through the settlement may seek up to $125 as a reimbursement for the cost of a credit-monitoring product of their choice. This will add to the existing free credit report that all consumers are entitled to receive.
Consumers should consider freezing their credit, which stops thieves from opening new credit cards or loans in their names. Just do not forget to temporarily unfreeze credit, also free, when applying for a new credit card or loan.
The settlement must still be approved by the federal district court in the Northern District of Georgia. "The FTC could not", commission chairman Joseph Simons said.
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