PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's a security breach that potentially exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans. Now, Equifax and its customers are dealing with the fallout.
The impact of the data hack is expected to be far-reaching and costly, as nearly half of the country's adult population had information exposed, information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates and home addresses.
"It's bad," said Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking Inc. "It's the worst in the United States history, they're saying."
Marcus' company provides network security. He said the Equifax hack could be a nightmare for the 143 million people who had their private information stolen.
"The hackers will know where you live, date of birth, SS number, mothers maiden name, more than likely, siblings, relatives," said Marcus.
That sensitive info could be used by hackers to steal, with ease, your identity.
"This breach is actually going to affect our country for years to come, because people now have all the key info they need," said Marcus. "They can go get new SS Card numbers. They can go get new debit card numbers. they have all the information they need."
Marcus said there is something that those affected need to do.
"What consumers need to do is monitor their credit daily, just by using the free tools that are out there, or the paid one, if it makes them feel better, and just stay on top of what's going on," said Marcus.
There are a number of agencies that allow people to monitor their credit for free, like Credit Karma or Free Credit Report. People can also pay to have their credit frozen, but Marcus warns that may not be enough to stop vicious hackers.
"That's the other scary part," said Marcus. "Even if your account is frozen, and I'm a hacker trying to get in and unfreeze your credit, I still have all the qualifying information to unfreeze your credit technically. It's not just a credit card that people need to be concerned about, it is actually your entire financial history."
Equifax website on data breach
Identity Theft information