Virginia Elected Officials Are Pondering Response to Equifax Data Breach
The recent security breach at Equifax has affected tens of millions of Americans:
The Equifax data breach may have put the sensitive data of 143 million Americans, including more than 4 million Virginians, in jeopardy.
The breach was so big and the data stolen so sensitive (with more potential thefts being exposed nearly every day) that security and identity theft experts recommend consumers put freezes on their credit reports with the main credit agencies.
The ability to freeze one’s credit is controlled by state law. Virginia’s law, adopted in 2008 in the wake of an earlier breach, allows residents to freeze and unfreeze their credit whenever they wish.
The catch is it costs $10 to institute a freeze at each of the credit reporting agencies. Those who are identity theft victims, and have a police report to back it up, can avoid the fee.
There are also certain exemptions built into the law. State and local agencies, law enforcement, courts and private debt collectors armed with a court order can still gain access to your credit report.
So, too, can any entity with which you have an existing relationship – for a home loan or a credit card, for example.
Virginia elected officials and 2017 statewide candidates talked with Norm Leahy about this latest data security breach and how Virginians may be better protected than other states. Read more at The Washington Post.