Protecting Your Identity One Year After Equifax

Can you believe it’s been a year since the Equifax data breach

Many of us remember feeling the direct impact of the Equifax mega breach on Sept. 7, 2017. With the final tally of affected consumers nearing 148 million U.S. adults, the first word that comes to mind is “massive.” 

The Equifax data breach was far-reaching in the quality and quantity of highly-sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII) exposed. And, the  overall impact hit both consumers and small businesses. Even though we’ve identified what happened, and the key mistakes that were made, it doesn’t change the fact that our data is still out there. We’re all still forever vulnerable.  

 

Tweets from the company’s Twitter account with the spoofed web page URL via Mashable

Breached, Phished, and Hacked

When the announcement of the Equifax breach flooded headlines last September, the credit bureau then faced a number of security issues and even some further missteps.

The company stated that 143 million consumers had been affected by the breach, according to the New York Times. A few days later, the company’s breach resource page was targeted by cybercriminals. Fraudsters spoofed the URL and used it as a phishing site – scamming breached victims for more personal information.

It was so convincing that even Equifax’s Twitter page shared it with its networks without realizing it was a scam.

Shortly after, the company’s main website was also attacked by hackers who redirected visitors to a fake Flash Player download that contained malicious software designed to harm your device.

 

Data Breaches & The Dark Web

The rise in data breaches, despite the risks, have become normalized in our day-to-day society. With 1,579 data breaches reported in 2017 – and 790 so far in 2018 – ploys to capture personal data continue to emerge. And, as we’ve reported many times before, much of the information exposed in data breaches will eventually end up on the Dark Web.

The Dark Web is an underground online marketplace that is completely anonymous, which makes it the perfect venue for criminal activity. Fraudsters use the Dark Web to sell and dump stolen data – making sensitive PII both available to all, yet traceable to none.

Cybercrime is not always the cause of security incidents, but it has found its place in fraud, identity theft, social engineering scams, and more. The Dark Web has become a favored network for identity thieves and cybercriminals to misuse stolen data without being caught – a prime example of this evolution.

 

Cybercrime Meets Identity Crime

Our data-driven, digital-first, device-ready world… is really a catch-22. Connected technologies are designed for convenience by being “smart,” or analyzing data it collects from user behaviors and preferences.

With more places to use and optimize your data, there are also many more opportunities for it to be compromised or stolen. Living in a connected world means that every website we search, every social media site we post to, and every message we send can often be a choice between convenience and security.

On the other hand, many businesses also struggle with cornering their industries with the latest technology and keeping their employees, customers, and partners safe. And, most organizations today offer some form of free identity protection to impacted victims if a breach ever occurs.

However, even free identity protection is sometimes not enough. It’s temporary, and therefore cannot provide the long-term protection you need to ultimately keep your identity safe.

 

EZShield + IdentityForce: A “Powerhouse” of Digital ID Protection & Cybersecurity

EZShield recently united with IdentityForce, a top-rated identity protection service provider to offer the best identity protection and cybersecurity solutions on the market. EZShield + IdentityForce CEO Dale Dabbs called it a “powerhouse” in a recent blog announcing the acquisition.

Dabbs also shared his thoughts on the Equifax data breach in another recent article on EZShield.com. He examines how the breach’s impact is still felt – in 2018 and beyond.

This unification further strengthens our educational efforts by bringing together thought leaders from two Best-in-Class organizations. You’ll be seeing new faces on Fighting Identity Crimes soon, like EZShield + IdentityForce Chief Strategy Officer, Heidi Daitch and Chief Marketing Officer, Donna Parent, who have both also shared their thoughts on the one-year anniversary of the Equifax data breach. 

Take a look at Heidi’s and Donna’s thoughts one year after the Equifax data breach, as well as the Data Breach FAQs we’ve put together for more in-depth tips and insights. 

 


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

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