“In a land of Computers and a time of cybercrime, the information of millions rests on the shoulders of Mark Begor’s team—the name of the company, EQUIFAX.” The phenomenon of cybersecurity breach has become incessant since the inception of the internet, and part of the recent victims in 2017 was Equifax. 

Cybercriminals were able to access the Equifax’s database in 2017, of which the social security numbers, birth dates, and other vital information of over 148 million Americans were stolen. Asides the breach on essential information from the database, over 200,000 peoples’ credit card information was also stolen with identifying documents of people. 

For those who had their information compromised in the 2017 Equifax breach, the credit bureau has reportedly agreed to pay their consumers; the Federal Trade Commission; 50 United States’ territories and states; and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an estimated sum of about $650 to $700 million. For the consumers, at least $300 million of the settlement is for compensation and giving credit-monitoring services and an extra $125 million should there be a shortage of funds. The proposed settlement, however, still needs to be approved by the court in what is calculated to be a six-month process.

The September 2017 breach of Equifax was one of the most massive breaches in history with hackers getting vital information of consumers. What makes this breach so profound was the prior warning in March where the vulnerability of the Equifax system was pointed out. Despite this, the necessary steps in preventing this dangerous hack were not adopted. 

What Steps Can You Take?

For the critically exposed to the breach, there are vital steps which were to be taken. The first among the proactive steps is to contact the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council as a victim in need of an advisor. 

Also, in response to the data breach, the Equifax breach settlement website (www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com) was created by a third party, and all you need do is follow the instruction on it for further assistance. Nevertheless, a public network shouldn’t be used when embarking on these steps to Equifax breach recovery. 

On the path to settlement town, affected consumers are eligible to apply for remedies such as credit monitoring, assistance with ongoing identity theft, and reimbursement. Credit bureaus like Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax are handling free credit monitoring for the affected individuals. Experian offers affected consumers up to six years of single bureau monitoring. Regardless, affected individuals can opt for a cash settlement of $125, of which the individual cannot get the free credit monitoring packaged deal.

Additionally, reimbursement is another option for affected consumers. For the period spent in remedying your affected data, consumers are also given a reimbursement payment that does not exceed $20,000. This is broken down to the amount of $25 by the hour in total of $500 for 20 hours in a day. 

The settlement eligibility website is available via this link and also through the number 1-833-759-2982 for further assistance. It is pertinent to know that eligibility does not guarantee consumers any of the above benefits. The affected consumers will still need to make a documented claim through the site when the availability opens. 

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