When it comes to dealing with the aftermath of Equifax’s massive data breach, it’ll be up to consumers to be on guard against data thieves, experts say.
Last week, the credit-rating company disclosed that it was hacked earlier this year, leaving 143 million U.S. consumers’ personal information exposed. Equifax now faces numerous lawsuits, a huge stock price hit and several state and federal investigations.
Its slow and incomplete response continues to anger people all over the country, leaving many consumers wondering what — if anything — they can do to protect themselves if the company tasked with safeguarding their credit can’t even make its phone lines operate.
Lisa Gerstner has been tracking Equifax’s bungled response, both as a possible victim and as a writer for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
“The call lines have been flooded to them; I think their call centers are overwhelmed,” Gerstner says. “When I tried to call it last Friday about it, I got a busy signal then it hung up on me, so I went online.”
But there, too, as of Thursday, problems continued with Equifax’s website, with some users encountering system error messages. The company says that as of Tuesday, 11.5 million people had signed up to monitor their reports.