As you may have heard, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies that handle the data of consumers and businesses worldwide recently reported a data breach.

At First Bank, the security of our clients’ information and accounts is paramount. In light of the Equifax security breach, we’ve reviewed our security procedures and made adjustments to continue protecting our clients’ information and account access.  Rest assured, we employ a variety of security measures to defend against such continuously-evolving threats.

In addition to the actions taken by First Bank, there are actions you can take to further protect yourself.

Visit the website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. This site is dedicated to the Equifax security breach, allowing you to do the following:

  • Check online whether or not your information was impacted at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/.
  • Enroll in the credit monitoring and identity theft insurance service offered free for a year from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/.
  • Review the Equifax Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to learn all of the details around this breach at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/frequently-asked-questions/.

Credit Report

In addition to the above, you may also take the following actions.

  • Monitor your credit reports. In addition to the services provided by Equifax, you can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year. Review the reports and report any unauthorized activity to the credit bureau immediately.
  • Monitor your bank accounts. We also encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts. Report any unauthorized activity immediately.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze or a fraud alert on your credit reports. Also known as a security freeze, a credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves (and you) to open new accounts in your name. This is because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your file, they may not extend the credit. Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you may need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report requiring businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone, before opening a new account. You can find out the pros and cons of credit freezes at the Federal Trade Commission’s website at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
  • Stay vigilant. Be wary of any unsolicited requests for personal information as fraudsters often take advantage of breaches, including sophisticated phishing emails encouraging consumers to provide personal information.

Contact Equifax with any additional questions regarding the Equifax breach specifically. Equifax has established a dedicated call center. The call center is available at 866-447-7559, every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time.