The Equifax breach exposed the personal information of about 143 million US consumers.
The Equifax data breach exposed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other personal data. Approximately 143 million U.S. consumers were impacted. A breach this large has the potential to include many BECU members and we're here to help in any way we can. Below are some steps you can take, specific to this incident, and others that are good practice in general.
- Keep up on the latest breach-related news and instructions from Equifax, including how to determine if your personal information may be at risk. Click here for the Equifax website. You can also reach Equifax customer service at 888-202-4025.
- Sign up for the free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring service, if you are not already protected. Consider layering protection, even if you are currently subscribed to a monitoring service.
- Consider applying a credit freeze with all three credit reporting agencies. Click here for the Federal Trade Commission credit freeze FAQs.
Safeguard Your BECU Account
BECU offers account features designed to protect financial information and account access. We suggest taking the following precautions with BECU accounts, as well as any other financial or information-sensitive accounts.
- Add a code word to your account. This will prompt over-the-phone interactions with BECU to be authenticated using a code word, which is unique to you and BECU. A code word, which is an addition to normal verification steps, can be established by contacting BECU Member Care at 800-233-2328 or by stopping into a branch.
- Protect your online banking account. Take a moment to update the security options for your online account, including adding two-factor authentication and changing your security questions. Additionally, you now have the option to set up text verification. You can update security options at any time—simply log into Online Banking and go to the Manage Security Options under your profile. Click here to learn about your account security options.
- Monitor debit and credit transactions. Sign up for transaction alerts for all of your banking accounts and credit cards. For members utilizing online banking, setting Alerts is quick and easy – just click on the Alerts tab and choose your options. BECU's MoneyManager is a great tool for managing all accounts – including those from other financial institutions – in one place. Spending is automatically categorized and tracked from uploaded accounts, providing a holistic view of where, when and how you spend your money.
- Click here to learn the steps BECU takes to protect your information.
General Good Practices
- Review your credit report annually, at no cost, and without impact to your credit score Click here to order your annual credit report
- Monitor your active accounts with your existing financial institutions for fraudulent activity, such as new loans.
- Educate yourself about current threats to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides helpful information. Click here for the FTC website.
- Practice good online habits by learning good password hygiene, how to verify websites, and how to ensure secure connections while using websites. Check out our “How To Get Hacked” article to learn more.
- Stay aware! Scammers often use breaking news stories, such as this, as opportunities to scam individuals even further. Equifax is not contacting consumers directly. Verify phone calls, do not give out personal or financial information and watch out for phishing emails.