FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live): Early Wednesday afternoon, people trying to freeze their credit in the wake of several major hacks got error messages from all three major credit reporting agencies. It was one of the recommendations made after the Equifax breach.
Courtesy MGN / Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans.
The Equifax hack has many people concerned and some not realizing the impact of this breach. This company is just one of many that keeps data on you. Some people don't realize that other companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon keep data on you as well.
If you visit myaccount.google.com you can see Google tracks your activity, it can tell what you search, sites you visited and can date back years. But you can change this in your privacy settings.
According to one Bloomberg article, "Forget Equifax. Facebook and Google Have the Data That Should Worry You," you should be concerned if Facebook, Amazon or Google ever get hacked.
Those companies along with others contain financial and personal data that can lead to identity theft. That's why it's essential that you track things, like bank accounts, debt and sign up for credit monitoring. But there are sings you should look for with identity theft.
Many know the common ones of checking bank accounts but there is also if your mail stops coming, your medical records don't match up and if debt collectors call about debts you don't recognize.
Equifax has offered consumers one free year of credit monitoring and also waiving the fees for credit report freezes for the next 30 days.
Equifax estimates that 143 million people have been impacted, about half of the U.S. To put that in perspective, more than a quarter of North Dakotan's information may have been exposed in the breach, according to the North Dakota Attorney General.