The Equifax security data breach has been lost in the news with the reporting of all the devastation of hurricanes in Houston and Florida. We pray that all who are affected by those tragedies can heal quickly and put their lives back together. Meanwhile, the Equifax security breach should be a major concern for all of us. Financial data of 143 million Americans has been stolen, and in many cases, it means those 143 million people are at risk of becoming victims of identity theft for the remainder of their lives. With that in mind, there are a few things I think are important to share with our membership at this time.
First, we want you to know that we do not use Equifax Credit Reporting Service at Hercules Credit Union. We have always used Experian and/or TransUnion Reporting Service. Therefore it is not necessary to cancel your Hercules Credit or Debit cards or even accounts because of the Equifax breach. Hercules Credit Union information would not be part of the security breach. Let me be clear though, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are not part of the 143 million American with stolen information. If you have taken out a loan or credit card from another institution that uses Equifax Credit Reporting Service, you very well could bstill be a victim. A couple things you might consider that will help prevent your from being a victim of identity theft.
- Consider signing up for Identity Fraud Protection. We are pleased to announce that the credit union is formalizing plans to provide our membership with a voluntary low-cost Identity Theft Protection service. We want to make sure all of our members feel secure and confident that their personal information is being protected. Just as important, if they do become a victim of identity theft, they have professional resources at their disposal to fix the problem. Watch for detail coming very soon!
- Sign up for electronic statements. With the heighten awareness of criminals trying to steal personal information, there is no reason to risk having your statement sent in the mail. Sign up for e-statements and you will be notified when your monthly statement is ready for you to print from the security of your home or office. You can also monitor and download transaction history as often as you want. Your best protection against identity theft is monitoring your account activity often.
Brett Blackburn, Chief Executive Officer