EQUIFAX Data Breach

EQUIFAX Data Breach

Dear Campus Community,

As I am sure you are aware, data breaches are becoming common news.  From research I’ve done into the recent data breach at EQUIFAX, a consumer credit reporting agency, is likely to become the most damaging breach ever.  The fact is that 143 Million Americans (or two-thirds of the entire US adult population had personal data hacked).

Reports are that thieves made off with names, Social Security Numbers, multiple residential addresses, salary and banking information, various account numbers, credit history, and more.  Some identity theft experts are projecting that the negative impact will be lingering for decades.

PLEASE NOTE:  The following is provided for informational purposes only and not intended as a recommendation or endorsement.  You may wish to seek advice from a qualified financial consultant if you have concerns about your credit rating.

One of the first steps you can take is to visit Equifax’s website to see if your data was potentially exposed:

Click on the “Potential Impact” link/tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. The site will tell you if you have been affected by the Equifax breach.

Something to consider:  Execute a credit or security freeze with the four major Credit Reporting Agencies (EQUIFAX, Experian,TransUnion, Innovis).

  1. The Federal Trade Commission explains fundamental information about credit/security freezes and how to establish a freeze:

A credit freeze is a process that you can use to restrict access to your credit report.  The FTC explains that a credit freeze “makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. That’s because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your file, they may not extend the credit.”

1. Here are the online sites to set up a credit freeze at the four major consumer credit reporting companies:






2. If you have difficulty using the online sites, the phone numbers for the Credit Reporting firms are:

EQUIFAX — 1-800-349-9960

Experian — 1‑888‑397‑3742

TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872

Innovis — 1-800-540-2505


For additional information about the Equifax data breach and identity theft please see the following information:

You may need to invest considerable time in executing a credit/security freeze because of the high volume of traffic on the credit agency websites.

You may want to consider buying a credit/identity monitoring service.  There are several services like Life Lock and All Clear ID to monitor and alert you in the event of some abnormal request or transaction.

For employees enrolled in USD’s Life and AD&D Insurance plans, Cigna offers identity theft services to help determine if a theft has occurred and how to begin resolving it.  If you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft, you can call them at 1-888-226-4567.  They have personal case managers standing by to help you.

If you believe this is a phishing email, then please don’t hesitate to call the University of San Diego ITS Help Desk at 619-260-7900.

--Chris Wessells, Chief Information Officer
--Karen Briggs, Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

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