The Equifax Data Breach

Equifax says a 2017 data breach exposed the sensitive personal information of 143 million Americans.

The FTC's blog posts

Whether you’re a consumer or business owner, it’s likely you have concerns about how the breach affects you. Here’s what the FTC has said in blog posts related to the breach.

What you can do

Initial fraud alerts, extended fraud alerts, credit freezes and, for servicemembers who deploy, active duty alerts, can help prevent misuse of your personal information. These articles can help you decide which might be right for you.

Next steps

If your personal information has been exposed, the next concern is that it has been or will be misused. You can review your credit report and watch for warning signs of identity theft, but you may also be considering using professional identity theft monitoring services. These articles can help you decide your next steps.

Take action

If you learn that specific information, like your driver’s license number, has been exposed, take action to reduce your risk of identity theft. If you discover that someone is opening new accounts using your information, report it to the FTC and get a recovery plan.

  • Visit IdentityTheft.gov/databreach for detailed advice about how to protect yourself after a data breach. Whether your Social Security number, driver’s license number, child’s information, or other sensitive information was exposed, you can take action to reduce your risk of identity theft.
  • Visit IdentityTheft.gov if someone uses your personal information to open accounts, file taxes, make purchases, or in some other way. At IdentityTheft.gov, you can report it and get a personal recovery plan, an Identity Theft Report, and customized letters and forms you can use to resolve the problems that identity theft causes.

Learn more

Do you want to learn more about identity theft, share the information in your community, and keep monitoring your credit report for signs of any suspicious activity? Here’s how.

  • Visit ftc.gov/idtheft to learn more about identity theft and find free resources to share with your friends and family.
  • Visit bulkorder.ftc.gov to find free publications to share on topics such as avoiding scams, making sound financial decisions, recovering from identity theft, dealing with debt collectors, and more. The FTC has nearly 200 publications on a variety of topics and in multiple languages. Share them in your community organization, church, school, workplace, or neighborhood. Order as many as you need. Even the shipping is free.
  • Visit annualcreditreport.com to order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax — every year. Check the reports for unexpected charges or accounts.

Watch a video

Watch a quick video and get a recap of steps you can take to help protect yourself after a data breach.