In the days following the massive data breach at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, consumers are left with many unanswered questions regarding the security of their personal information. At Traditions Bank, your privacy and the safeguarding of your confidential information are of the utmost importance to us. Here’s what you need to know and tips on how to keep your personal information safe and secure, moving forward.
For news and updates related to the Equifax data breach, visit equifaxsecurity2017.com
- On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that the records of approximately 143 million Americans were breached between May and July of this year.
- These records contained names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers and some driver’s license numbers. At this time, it does not appear that hackers gained access to full credit records.
- 209,000 credit card numbers were obtained. The individuals affected will be notified via US postal mail. Equifax will not reach out via email.
- Equifax has indicated that debit cards were not exposed — therefore criminals are unlikely to have the ability to withdraw funds from a checking account.
- The biggest risk posed by the breach is identity theft.
How We Protect Our Customers
When the bank and customer work together, we can better prevent fraud. If you suspect that a breach has occurred on your bank account, notify us at once.
If you suspect your account has been hacked, contact Traditions Bank immediately. We will take advanced measures to help prevent future fraudulent activity.
We use a combination of safeguards to protect your information, such as specialized Associate training, strict privacy policies, rigorous security standards and encryption systems.
Steps to Preventing Fraudulent Activity
Equifax is offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection to all U.S. consumers for one year following the breach. (You do not have to be a part of the breach to take advantage of this.)
Enrolling in this program does NOT prohibit consumers from taking legal action related to this incident.
Criminals often take advantage of breaches and craft sophisticated phishing emails encouraging consumers to provide personal information. Do not click any links or respond to any emails requesting nonpublic personal information — even if they appear to be from Equifax. If you wish to contact Equifax do so here.
Credit Freezes vs. Fraud Alerts
Equifax has agreed to waive any fees associated with a credit freeze for the next 30 days. It is important to understand the pros and cons of taking this action, consider your personal situation, lifestyle, and your need to have access to credit quickly. Action must be taken to “un-freeze” the account before an individual can rent an apartment, get credit in an emergency, or even purchase a cell phone.
A great alternative is a fraud alert. This gives you added protection without limiting access to credit. It places a red flag on your credit report, which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you directly, before an account can be opened.
Fraud alerts last approximately 90 days and can be renewed.
If you have concerns about the security of your accounts or personal information, please contact your local branch. We are always here for our customers. We value the confidence you place in us and will always handle your confidential information with the utmost care.