Remember the totally scary Equifax data breach from last year? Turns out it might be a bigger deal than we first thought. Hacks and scams are way more frequent than ever before — from the email scam that hit Netflix users to the credit card risk for Arby’s customers — making it even more critical to protect your private information online.
Now, a new report says the Equifax hack gained access to even more information than previously thought. Over 145.5 million people were affected by the data breach, which was originally said to include information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and even some driver’s license and credit card numbers.
However, Equifax recently disclosed that the breach also included other private information. This includes tax identification numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, and even expiration dates on credit cards.
Meredith Griffanti, a spokesperson for Equifax, said the company didn’t intend to mislead consumers by not releasing the full scope of the breach. Instead, Equifax released information that impacted a majority of consumers in order to “act with the greatest clarity,” she said.
This is the latest in a line of fumbles Equifax has made regarding the data breach.
Following the hack, the company replaced its chief executive and spent millions to study and repair the breach, but many people aren’t satisfied. Equifax is facing hundreds of consumer lawsuits and regulatory investigations into what Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called “one of the largest and most significant data security lapses in history.”
While the rise in cybercrime is concerning, there’s no reason to panic. Right now, it’s important to be proactive when it comes to protecting your information online. Even Instagram is guilty of compromising your privacy, so be sure to stay informed and safe. In the meantime, read up on how to keep your personal information secure.
Okay, and maybe change your passwords.