Protecting Your Personal Information Following the Equifax Security Breach and Other Considerations for Indiana Businesses

Protecting Your Personal Information Following the Equifax Security Breach and Other Considerations for Indiana Businesses

Posted by Mallory Deardorff-Dawson, on October 5, 2017
civil litigation lawyer Lafayette Indiana

Mallory Deardorff-Dawson

Individuals can learn if they are potentially one of the consumers whose personal information was accessed in the Equifax breach by visiting trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html and inputting their last name and part of their social security number. The website will inform you if Equifax believes that your personal information was compromised as part of this breach.

Even if your information was not accessed in this cybersecurity breach, it is still wise to employ methods of protecting your credit and personal information from being used by identity thieves. There are a number of steps consumers can take to help mitigate any risks.

First, as always, consumers should monitor their credit reports on a regular basis. This can be done through www.annualcreditreport.com. Individuals in the U.S. are entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Consumers should also continue to review their monthly credit card bills to ensure they do not include any unauthorized charges. Equifax is also offering one year of free credit monitoring that consumers may sign up for.

Second, performing a credit freeze is a good way to prevent identity thieves from using your personal information to open new accounts and new lines of credit. Indiana residents can request a credit freeze free of charge by signing up online on each of the three credit reporting agencies’ websites or by sending a letter via certified mail to the three credit reporting agencies. (See the Indiana Attorney General’s webpage for sample letters requesting a credit freeze and for the addresses where those letters should be sent: https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2411.htm).

As always, consumers should be careful about phishing email scams and having their postal mail intercepted by identity thieves. You should use caution in clicking on links in email messages, even if the content of the email and the email address appear legitimate. As for postal mail, consumers can opt out of receiving prescreened offers of credit and insurance by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or by visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.

The Equifax cybersecurity breach should also serve as a reminder to Indiana businesses of their duties to consumers related to safeguarding personal information and disclosing security breaches. In 2006, the Indiana General Assembly passed the Disclosure of Security Breach Act requiring Indiana businesses to inform their customers about any security breaches that may have compromised consumers’ personal information. In 2009, an identity theft bill was passed that increased the Indiana Attorney General’s ability to investigate and prosecute incidents of identity theft.

Our team is experienced in all aspects of business law and can advise business clients on how to comply with applicable laws and regulations and reduce your company’s risk before it becomes a problem.

 

**Reiling Teder & Schrier, LLC is an Indiana Limited Liability Company. The information contained in this website has been prepared by Reiling Teder & Schrier, LLC for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon to make any decision, legal or otherwise. If you have any specific questions or inquiries regarding any of the information contained in this website, you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state. The information contained in this website pertains only to matters of Indiana law and the laws of other states may be completely different from the laws of the State of Indiana.