The Equifax Data Breach is worse than first reported by the company, with an additional 2.4 million people impacted to a lesser degree.
According to Equifax, the additional consumers only had their names and partial driver's license stolen by the hackers. Equifax says these Americans were not found in the original breach because they had been focusing their investigation on Americans whose social security numbers were impacted. That number is about 145 million people, almost half the population of the country... making this the largest data breach of personal information in history.
Equifax says it's going to reach out to all newly impacted consumers, and they'll offer the same credit monitoring and identity theft protection that they originally offered. The window has closed for people originally affected by the breach to sign up for that credit monitoring and protection, but you can still freeze your credit with Equifax for free through June 30th.
Checking your credit report is so important in light of all of this because it allows you to see if someone has opened bogus accounts in your name. But despite the severity of the Equifax breach, many people aren't doing that.
A survey out just this week from CreditCards.com found half of adults have not checked their credit since the Equifax breach. You're entitled by law to a free credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. The official site to go to access those reports is AnnualCreditReport.com.
You may want to spread out the requests; check one report every four months so you have a regular snapshot of your credit.