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As you are probably already aware, there has been a major data breach at national credit-reporting company Equifax, which impacted over 143 Million US Consumers. Here is what has been reported on the breach:

  • Cyber criminals have accessed sensitive information -- including names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and the numbers of some driver's licenses.

  • Equifax said that credit card numbers for over 200,000 U.S. customers were exposed, as was "personal identifying information" on roughly 180,000 U.S. customers involved in credit report disputes.

  • The breach occurred between mid-May and July, Equifax said. The company said it discovered the hack on July 29.

In the wake of this breach, Equifax has information on a website that can be accessed through their homepage. We have not verified the security of this website, so EagleBank does not endorse its usefulness. Also, be aware of similar sounding websites that have actually been set up by criminals.

Below are some precautions for you to consider:

BE EXTRA CAREFUL ABOUT EMAILS AND LINKS

Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails that claim to be updates from Equifax or connected to the breach. Equifax will send paper mail to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personally identifying information were impacted.

Hackers often use news of big breaches to conduct "phishing" campaigns, sending official-looking emails that make it seem as if the affected company or other legitimate services are asking them to supply information or click through to a link to repair any damage.

When in doubt, call or email the company that appears to be sending the message separately, don't go through the email you've been sent.

PLACE A FRAUD ALERT ON YOUR ACCOUNT

Place a “fraud alert” on your credit reports and review the reports carefully.  The other nationwide consumer reporting companies have links for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert:

A fraud alert is a signal placed on your credit report to warn potential creditors that they must use “reasonable policies and procedures” to verify your identity before they issue credit in your name. 

CHANGE PASSWORDS

Especially consider this if you typically use similar passwords and security questions on multiple accounts. Once hackers have access to ID and password information for one system, they routinely try the same combination against multiple other platforms to see which ones work, an easily automated process.

ENABLE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION WHEN ACCESSING ONLINE ACCOUNTS

Cyber criminals often use this information gathered to answer your “security questions” and reset your password.

Two-factor authentication keeps them from doing that by sending a text message or call to the user's phone with a code as a second verification step. The code must then be typed in before the account page can be opened.

Also consider enabling additional security features such as alerts, limits, etc.

CHECK YOUR CREDIT CARD AND OTHER ACCOUNTS

Review your online and paper statements for suspicious activity. That includes banks, credit card companies and hotel and airline loyalty programs.


At EagleBank, we take cybersecurity very seriously and hope this additional information is helpful to you. EagleBank systems were not affected by this Equifax breach, but we share these pointers as part of our Relationship F-I-R-S-T approach. You can find more information about fraud and cyber security at www.eaglebankcorp.com/security.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact EagleBank Customer Care at 301-628-4708.