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Equifax Isn’t Going To Pay Breach Victims

In 2017, the Equifax data breach potentially compromised the personal information of 147 million Americans. Social Security numbers and other sensitive data was breached and acquired by hackers. Now, Equifax is reporting that they won’t be able to pay $125 to each of their hacking victims like they said they would. They received such an overwhelming response to their $700 million settlement that they now say they can’t cover this.

What Is Equifax’s Excuse?

Equifax isn’t paying the full amount because “The public response to the settlement has been overwhelming.” This is what they said on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, where the settlement information is posted.

Only $31 million of the $700 million settlement was set aside to reimburse the 147 million Americans impacted by the huge breach. Now, Equifax announced that victims wouldn’t receive $125 but a small amount of cash instead.

How Will This Affect Equifax Victims?

Essentially, those victims who opted for the money instead of Equifax’s free 10-year credit monitoring services won’t get what was promised.

If you filed a claim with Equifax, you can expect to receive an email saying that you can switch from the cash option to their free credit monitoring. If you choose to take the money option, you’ll receive just a small amount of cash, “Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed,” says Equifax.

Equifax warns that if you don’t opt for the free credit monitoring instead of the cash that you’ll be “disappointed with the amount you receive, and you won’t get the free credit monitoring.”

They say that their credit monitoring services are a better value.

Here’s what Equifax says

“If your information was exposed in the data breach, and you file a valid claim before the deadline, you are guaranteed at least four years of free monitoring at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance, among other benefits. The market value of this product is hundreds of dollars per year.”

What Can Victims Do?

There’s still time to act. Victims can file claims through the end of January 2020.

Also included in the settlement are six free Equifax credit reports a year for seven years, USA Today reported, and free identity theft recovery services for the same amount of time. Those who had their identities stolen because of the breach can also claim up to $20,000.

“If you spent time or money dealing with an ID theft issue that occurred after the breach and involved personal data that was exposed by the hack, you can recoup those costs up to $20,000 per person. Here’s what’s covered:

  • Losses from unauthorized charges on your accounts
  • Cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report
  • Cost of credit monitoring
  • Fees you paid to professionals such as an accountant or attorney
  • Other expenses such as notary fees, document shipping fees and postage, mileage and phone charges.”

Prevention Is Always The Best Solution – Consider Using Dark Web Monitoring Services

In the meantime, consider signing up for Dark Web Monitoring Services. This will let you know if your breached information is circulating for sale on the Dark Web.

Here are 6 things you should know about Dark Web Scanning.

1. What Is The Dark Web?

The Dark Web comprises 93% of the Internet. It’s a secret internet society that’s growing so quickly that the authorities can’t keep up with it. You can’t access it with search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. The Dark Web is only accessible to a select group of criminals. These criminals use specialized software to hide their identities; software that isn’t available to us, or the authorities. This is one reason why the Dark Web is so dangerous.

Many think that lone criminals trade information on the Dark Web. It’s much bigger than this. It’s a place where organized crime operates. They have experts in every area and interact and rely on each other to steal data, sell it and use it. These are illegal and worldwide corporate enterprises that are making hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

2. What Do Criminals Do With Data On The Dark Web?

They:

  • Share their successes, exploits, strategies, techniques and tactics.
  • Take stolen data and sell it.
  • Transfer corporate data and proprietary information.
  • Work in teams to execute cyberattacks on businesses and government entities.

3. What Is Dark Web Scanning?

Dark Web Scanning:

  • Searches the Dark Web 24/7 to determine if your confidential data is there.
  • Finds cyber threats that expose stolen business accounts, email addresses, patient information, and other confidential data.
  • Uses both human and artificial intelligence to scan criminal operations in chat rooms, blogs, forums, private networks and other sites.
  • Collects the vital intelligence needed to determine if your data exists on the Dark Web.
  • Locates any of your compromised credentials or information before criminals can use it for profit or other crimes.
  • Detects data dumps within the black markets on the Dark Web that have anything to do with your organization.
  • Does all of this in real-time.

4. What Will Dark Web Scanning Find?

  • Credit card data
  • Confidential data from unsecured file transfers
  • Leaked data from employees (intentional or not)
  • Compromised accounts
  • Your customers’ or patients’ data that’s being sold
  • Stolen financial data
  • Stolen PayPal and other account credentials
  • Trademark and copyright infringements
  • And more.

5. What Do Dark Web Scanning Services Include?

You’ll receive initial and ongoing scanning, with continuous monitoring and alerts if anything relating to your business is found.

6. What Should You Do If Your Data Is Found In A Dark Web Scan?

You will be advised to invalidate it immediately. This means changing your account numbers, email addresses, passwords and anything related to the stolen data.

Data breaches, like the Equifax breach, require both a strong and immediate response from your organization. If required, you will have to notify the authorities and any of your customers or patients whose data was stolen. So, the sooner you implement Dark Web Scanning, the better.

For more information about the Equifax breach and how Dark Web Scanning can help your business, contact our IT Security Experts.