USLegal Newsletter September 2017 – What You Need to Know About the Equifax Security Breach

Earlier this month, Equifax announced a cyber security breach potentially affecting about 143 million consumers.  Known as one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, the company said criminals “exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.” Equifax said the unauthorized access occurred over the summer from mid-May through July 2017.  According to Equifax, “the information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.”

Equifax is now offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection for one year to all U.S. consumers whether or not their information was exposed. Individuals have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.

To find out if your information was personally comprised or to learn more about the breach, visit

The Federal Trade Commission has also put out a list of steps that consumers can take to protect themselves after a data breach. For more information, visit

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Law and Legal Definitions

Identity Theft

The crime of identity theft often includes unauthorized use of credit or debit cards, but can entail considerably more invasive acts for the victim than that.

Identity theft can be divided into two forms: financial and non-financial. Both forms involve the stealing of a person’s personal information (name, address, Social Security number, credit or debit cards, checking account numbers, passwords) and using that to obtain something in the victim’s name. In financial identity theft, the thief may open a checking account, get access to existing accounts, obtain a credit card or other line of credit, or declare bankruptcy in the victim’s name. More

For more legal definitions, please visit our free online legal dictionary at