On the evening of September 7th, Equifax announced the records of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers were compromised in one of the most extensive security breaches to ever be made public. The information leaked primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some case, driver's license numbers. Furthermore, the credit card numbers for about 209,000 people, and certain dispute documents for another 182,000 people, were also accessed.
It’s been revealed that hackers were able to exploit a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to these files. Equifax’s internal investigation shows that the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.
In the wake of this news, many of customers of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity and Digital Protection products are worried about what this means for the security of their data. Protecting our customers’ identities is our number one concern and as such, we are recommending all customers take the following steps to safeguard their data.
Place a Credit Fraud Alert or Freeze
We recommend that all of our members place a 90 day fraud alert with all credit bureaus. In some cases, this alert can even be extended to seven years at your request. This will prevent any creditors from opening a new line of credit in your name for the next 90 days (or seven years) without first contacting you for your approval. In order to do so please call 1-800-680-7289 and select option 1. Follow the automated prompt instructions. Depending on your state law, you may also have as an available option the more stringent approach of placing a freeze on your credit reports with all three bureaus. Credit freezes will prevent our members' credit from being pulled to open new accounts, which can prevent criminals from opening fraudulent accounts with their stolen information. Unlike fraud alerts, credit freezes stay in place indefinitely, until the customer requests it to be removed. Additionally, consumers should be aware that a credit freeze may require payment of a fee, the filing of a police report, as well as a waiting period to unfreeze it to apply for credit in the future. Our members can call the phone number in their program materials for assistance with this process or contact each credit bureau individually to place a freeze.
Utilize Credit and Identity Monitoring
We are also encouraging all customers to review their program materials and ensure that have enrolled in any credit monitoring and identity monitoring available to them. We also urge customers to monitor and add as many items as possible. This will be critical to in enabling us to identify potential fraudulent use of their compromised information as soon as possible, and mitigate the amount of time it is misused. We recommend customers add all of the following information applicable to them to be monitored by our service.
- Social Security number
- Email addresses
- Date of birth
- Debit/credit cards
- Bank account numbers
- Insurance cards
- Drivers’ license
- Loyalty cards
- Affinity cards
- Passport number
- Online sites’ login credentials
Once this information is added, our internet surveillance will monitor the underground economy to uncover this information if bought, sold, or otherwise exposed, and alert you if it is. Additionally, our compromised credential monitoring will scour hacker dump sites, the black market, hacktivist forums, file sharing portals, botnet exfiltration, data leaks and malware logs for references to your online credentials.
Install the Online Data Protection Suite
After headline grabbing breaches like this, it's also common for those affected to receive an influx of phishing emails supposedly from the organization breached or other trusted service providers. To help protect against such threats, we recommend all customers with identity & digital protection products that include our online data protection suite install it on their PC's.
If customers would like guidance on completing these steps or assistance with any other concerns they have, our Resolution Center is here to provide personalized support 24/7, every day of the year. Customers should call the designated assistance phone number provided to them in their program materials.
About Generali Global Assistance
Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. The Company offers a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services, identity protection solutions, and beneficiary companion services. Generali Global Assistance is part of the multinational Generali Group, which for over 185 years has created a presence in 60 countries with over 76,000 employees. Our success has been built on the foundation of trust that clients have placed in our ability to provide assistance in the most difficult of circumstances.
Generali Global Assistance Media Contact
Jay A. Morakis
M Group Strategic Communications (for Generali Global Assistance North America)
Generali Global Assistance Marketing Contacts
VP, Global Marketing, Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit