Nearly half of Americans may have had their information stolen in the massive Equifax data breach revealed last week. Equifax collects, aggregates and distributes information on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, including many multifamily companies. Entrata uses Experian for all resident screening and verification processes and does not interface with Equifax for any of their services.
However, in the event you do receive inquiries from your residents on the data breach, we have compiled a list of recommended next steps they can take to protect themselves:
1. Find out if your information was exposed. Call Equifax at 866-447-7559 or visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
2. Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.
3. Get a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com and mark your calendar to get another one in about three months.
4. Be on the lookout: Watch your mail for anything suspicious. Check your bank accounts at least weekly for signs of fraud. Listen closely when applying for a loan or a government benefit for signs that someone else might be using your Social Security number. Get your annual Social Security benefits statement online and look for anything unusual.
5. Consider putting a security freeze on all your accounts — the most serious but most proactive step you can take. But take this step with great care. If you plan to shop for a car loan or a home loan any time soon, you probably shouldn’t do this, because security freezes lock credit report files so no one — not even you — can open a new credit account in your name.