Equifax Security Incident
Information to Protect Your Personal Information
Equifax, one of three nationwide credit-reporting companies, announced on Thursday, September 7 that a data breach had occurred potentially compromising the personal information of roughly 143 million people. With a breach of this size - impacting up to half of all Americans - it is important that each of our customers be proactive in protecting their personal information. Reports indicate that the thieves stole information including social security numbers, driver's license numbers, birth dates, addresses, credit card numbers and other personal information that can be used to access consumers' bank accounts, medical histories and more.
It is important that you know your bank information is secure - the data breach is with Equifax and not Academy Bank. Protecting the personal financial information of our customers is a top priority for Academy Bank.
In order to best protect your information, we are recommending that you consider taking the following steps as soon as possible.
Step 1: Go to equifaxsecurity2017.com
This website has been established by Equifax to assist consumers in determining whether this incident impacted them. Even if the response is that you may not be impacted, Equifax does not know for sure. To help consumers, Equifax is providing its TrustedID service for one year regardless of whether you been impacted by the hack. Complete the two questions asked and you will be updated on whether your information may have been accessed and a date on which to register for TrustedID protection. Please note that you will be assigned a day on which to register for this service.
To monitor your credit, there are no-charge options such as CreditKarma.com or annualcreditreport.com.
Step 2: Be on Alert
This is a wake-up call to be diligent about your finances. Check your online bank statements and credit card statements regularly. This data breach will not be cleaned up quickly - it will have long term ramifications for many. Just because nothing looks incorrect on your statements or credit report now, doesn't mean you haven't been compromised. Many thieves will be patient, allowing the news to fade, before using this to apply for loans in your name.
- Check your accounts weekly through free online or mobile banking.
- Report any suspicious activity by either visiting your local branch or calling the Customer Care Center at (877) 712-2265.
Step 3: Sign up for free account alerts at Academy Bank
- Sign up for free Account Alerts. With this service, you will receive automatic text messages or emails based on your selection criteria. This could include:
- Purchases or transactions above a certain amount.
- Email or password changes
- Low balance alerts
Step 4: Change/Update Your Passwords
Passwords should be changed frequently to reduce risks - and now would be a good time to update/change yours. You might even consider a password manager to generate strong, unique passwords for each of your services that are then stored in an encrypted database.
Step 5: Consider a Credit Freeze
One of the strongest actions you can take is to freeze your account with each of the three bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This step will bar creditors from accessing your credit reports and as a result, credit thieves will have a hard time opening new credit cards or loans in your name. The bad news is that you typically have to pay for this service but it is usually minimal. The next time you want to apply for credit, you'll have to lift the freeze which could incur another fee. It's an inconvenience, but the amount of time you might spend cleaning up identity theft issues may be outweighed by this step. In order to establish a credit freeze, you must contact the three bureaus - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - directly.
Equifax Security Breach