What do you need to do in the event of an information Leak?
On September of 2017, news broke that the credit data and personal information of approximately 143 million Americans were leaked to the public. One of the prominent source of the leak was from Equifax’s Argentine employee portal, Veraz, and its web tool called Ayuda. The web application was poorly guarded with insecure username and password: admin and admin. The Equifax information leak in Argentina released details of thousands of credit inquiries made by Argentinian customers, including their personal financial data, to government identification details.
Equifax provides credit reporting, employment verification, and identity theft monitoring services holding data on over 820 million customers as well as 91 million businesses. The Equifax information leak in Argentina made the customers and employees vulnerable to various crimes such as fraud and identity theft, which is ironic for the services that they provide. Veraz, the online portal used by the employees of the Argentine branch of Equifax, is used to access customer information and investigate credit report challenges. A credit report challenge is a process where someone reports a fraudulent or an uncharacteristic payment on their credit history that resulted to a damage in their credit score.
Important Methods for Unexpected Leaks
Due to the Equifax information leak in Argentina, it is important for everyone to understand and know what to do next after an unfortunate case of a leak. Securing your information and financial records as soon as possible is important, to decrease your vulnerability in becoming a victim of fraudulent crimes. There are two easy and important methods to take in case of an unexpected leak. One is to immediately freeze one’s credit file and keep it locked down. This is to ensure that it will not be accessed by just anyone other than the owner, and cannot be used unless explicitly told so by the person whose profile it is. If you, or someone you know or do business with is potentially at risk, especially with the recent Equifax information leak in Argentina, make sure to contact your bank and credit reporting agency, and have your or whoever’s file it is, freezed.
The next one is to sign up for fraud protection reporting measures. Various banks and credit monitoring services also offer this reporting measure, which include heightened security protocol options that will safeguard and keep a close watch on activity of designated accounts for a period of time. Luckily, the Equifax information leak in Argentina was minimized with the quick response of regulatory agencies. It is also fortunate that the Argentine business culture has reached new standards and noticeably improved their business infrastructures and security in the recent years.
It is important to take the Equifax information leak in Argentina as a reminder to be more cautious about giving out private and personal informations. Phishing and fraudulent scams are more prevalent following the release of an incident like this in an attempt to gather more information about those who have already been compromised. Take the necessary measures in keeping your files secured and look at this as a lesson in becoming extra careful and extra secure with our information.