Equifax Educates Consumers on How to Be #IDSmart

Identity Smart Series Offers Tips for Keeping Personal Information Safe

Nov 05, 2015, 09:00 ET from Equifax Inc.

ATLANTA, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of National Cyber Security Awareness month, Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) kicked off an #IDSmart information series today to provide consumers with guidance on how to help better safeguard their identities at home, work, school and online.

With the #IDSmart series, Equifax will educate consumers on the trends in identity theft, with insights on proactive steps such as how to safely surf the web and shop online during the holidays, as well as immediate next steps for victims of identity fraud.

"Identity theft is one of the most pressing and widespread issues concerning safety of consumer information and privacy," said Assad Lazarus, Senior Vice President, Product and Customer Experience, at Equifax Personal Information Solutions. "At Equifax, we want to encourage consumers to be more #cyberaware so they can protect themselves and their families."

A 2015 National Cyber Security Alliance and ESET Survey, "Behind Our Digital Doors: Cybersecurity & the Connected Home," found that 67 percent of households have between one and five home devices connected to the Internet. The study also found that more than one in five households use mobile devices or apps to remotely access or control devices in the home.

While the amount of identity theft victims is on a steady decline, the crime continued to top consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2014, with over 2.5 million complaints. According to experts at the Identity Theft Resource Center, this consistency in consumer complaints is not only troubling but also telling of consumers' habits and behaviors.

To help consumers keep their personal information safe from fraudsters, Equifax has provided some #IDSmart tips that consumers can implement in their daily lives. Catch the tips below:

  • At school, visit the IT department to ensure that your campus Internet is secure.
  • At work, when filling out forms that require your personal information try to submit the sensitive information handwritten through priority mail, instead of online.
  • Keep birth certificates, Social Security cards, and other personal documents in a lockbox in your home.
  • When disposing of documents, use a diagonal shredder.
  • Take outgoing bills, government forms, or tax forms directly to the post office.
  • Refrain from putting your driver's license number on your personal checks.
  • Consider writing just your first initial and last name on checks.
  • Always shred credit card receipts at home.
  • Install anti-virus software, anti-malware software, and a firewall on your computer and keep the programs up to date.
  • Use unique passwords that are different for each website.
  • Refrain from including your birthdate or other sensitive information on your social media accounts, even just the month and day.
  • Consider a credit monitoring and identity theft protection product, such as Equifax Complete™, which will alert you to key changes in your credit file such as a newly opened account.

About Equifax Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provides businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide.  The company's significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enables it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 19 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index.  Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2014, Equifax was nominated as a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company; its CIO was listed as one of the top 100 by CIO magazine; and the company was named to the Fintech 100 list, was recognized as a top 20 company to work for by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and was named a 2014 InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

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SOURCE Equifax Inc.