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September 12, 2017

Helpful tips from Member Benefits regarding Equifax data breach

As you may know, the NYSUT Member Benefits Corporation-endorsed ID Watchdog program was recently acquired by Equifax. On September 8, 2017, Equifax announced that its database had been compromised by online hackers -- potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers.

ID Watchdog has informed us that no ID Watchdog data, files or member information were compromised as part of this breach.

In light of this breach, Equifax has established a dedicated website at to assist consumers in determining if their information has been potentially impacted.

Consumers can also sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection -- free for one year -- through TrustedID Premier by visiting whether or not they have been affected by the breach.

Visit to enroll and click on the "Potential Impact" tab at the bottom of the page. You must submit your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. At that point, you will be given a date when you can return to the site and sign up for the service.

Equifax will be sending direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted by this breach.

NYSUT Member Benefits will closely monitor the effects of this acquisition going forward.

Helpful Tips from NYSUT Member Benefits
The Equifax breach shows that no database seems to be truly safe from being hacked today. That's why we encourage you to research your options going forward. Credit monitoring is definitely a good idea as it can alert you to an issue where someone has opened credit in your name or is attempting to fraudulently use your identity.

That's where our endorsed ID Watchdog program comes in, providing identity theft protection to NYSUT members and their family members. ID Watchdog offers a 100 percent resolution guarantee if your identity is ever compromised along with $1 million reimbursement insurance.

Another option to protect your credit (and perhaps the safest way) is to put a freeze on it. Freezing your credit is a manual process where you need to contact each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and let them know you would like to freeze it. There is a nominal charge of $10 per credit bureau. Freezing credit is especially a good idea for protecting your children, as child identity theft can be much more difficult to detect.

To learn more about freezing your credit and other helpful tips, we encourage you to read the following articles from our Member Benefits E-Direct electronic newsletter:

1. Summer 2017 issue of MB E-Direct -- Kids Corner: Protect Your Children Against Credit & Identity Theft

2. Summer 2015 issue of MB E-Direct -- Can You Protect Yourself from a Data Breach?

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