SPRINGFIELD, Mo. At the center of this latest data breach is one of the largest companies designed to monitor and protect our most personal information. Equifax revealed the data of some 143 million people was exposed.
"If somebody gets a hold of your drivers license and gets a DUI or tickets, and a warrant can be issued, you can be arrested, you can lose your job. If they commit crimes in your name, it can ruin your life," said Jennifer Hodges of Clarity Insurance.
The frightening scenarios to now consider lead to the question of what we can do to better protect our data.
"Really pointing to the person behind this is going to be challenging," said cyber security expert Dr. Shannon McMurtrey at Drury University.
McMurtrey said it could be a nation state behind the latest attack. He said the breach should serve as a reminder to be more vigilant at work and at home.
Here are 5 steps to protect your personal information:
"Things like using a password manager, using unique passwords on every account, keeping patches up to date, installing software updates whenever we get them, and ironically monitoring our credit. Having a company that stays on top of this," McMurtrey said.
It may not be over yet. Cyber security experts warn frauds may use the hack to target you in different ways next.
If you get an email claiming to be from Equifax, McMurtrey says you should avoid clicking on any links. Instead go directly to directly to the Equifax website. Watch for the lock on your browser, and follow the company's advice on checking to see if you are impacted.
Here's the link: