Tips for Protecting Your Data

UI is monitoring Equifax Security Breach

On Friday, September 8, 2017, Equifax, one of the three largest credit reporting agencies in the U.S., publically announced that its cyber security was breached in the spring. Hackers received access to social security numbers and other private data for up to 143 million individuals.

Given the understandable nation-wide concern, the university would like to inform campus that it is a client of Equifax, utilizing its Work Number (employment verification) and I-9 Management services. University Human Resources has contacted Equifax and received notice that the security breach of individual consumer data did not affect UI information stored and processed by Equifax.

As a U.S. consumer, you may have been impacted by the cybersecurity incident. Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine whether their information has been compromised and provide potential next steps for affected individuals.

The UI takes the security of its employee’s private data very seriously and is monitoring the situation to ensure the strength of its security measures and protect employee information. Individuals with further concerns should consider the tips provided below by Information Technology Services:

Be wary:  Cyber attackers will take advantage of this incident and launch millions of phishing emails, phone calls, or text messages trying to fool people into disclosing login information and other private information. 

Credit monitoring services do not protect you from credit card fraud, but they can give you a heads up when identity theft does happen, and they can often help with the difficult process of getting credit bureaus and creditors to remove the fraudulent activity and fix your credit score.

security freeze locks your credit scores so no one can access them, which is designed to stop a person who is pretending to  be you from getting a loan or a credit card. The challenge is that you often have to set up a security freeze manually with each of the four credit bureaus and then manually unlock them in order to get new credit cards or loans.

With a fraud alert on your credit file, lenders or service providers should not grant credit in your name without first contacting you to obtain your approval — by phone or whatever other method you specify when you apply for the fraud alert. This requires a police report, and may cost a fee. Fraud alerts typically last 90 days, but can be renewed.

Periodically order a free copy of your credit report. You are entitled to one free report per year from each of the credit bureaus.

Watch your bank and credit card accounts carefully. Many of them have a service where they notify you (via text or email) if a bank withdrawal or credit card charge is over a certain limit, or can send you daily reports of your financial activity. We highly recommend you enable at least one of these.