EQUIFAX AND PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION FAQ’s - Byline Bank

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At Byline, we take the security and protection of our customer’s information and accounts very seriously. Below you’ll find information on a recent security breach and frequently asked questions to help keep you informed.

THE EQUIFAX BREACH

Q:  What happened?
A:   Equifax—one of the nation’s three major credit reporting bureaus—recently announced a breach, in which personal information from over 143 million Americans has been comprised. This information may have included their social security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license numbers and credit card information.

Q:  How do I know if my information was compromised?
A:  Equifax will be sending a mailing to all consumers who may have had their information stolen, but this may take time. In the meantime, Equifax has created a website where consumers can use a secure computer to check to see if their personal information may have been exposed: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.  Consumers can also call Equifax at 866-447-7559 for more information.

PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY AND CREDIT

Q:  How can I protect myself?
A:   Below are a few steps that consumers should take to protect their identity and information.

  • Monitor your credit reports.
    Obtain your credit report, every year, from all three of the major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. All consumers are entitled to obtain a free copy of their credit report from each of these companies every 12 months. You can do this by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling each of them by phone.
  • Consider placing a “credit freeze” on your credit reports.
    In most states, including Illinois, each credit bureau may charge you up to a $10 fee for a credit freeze. (Equifax announced on September 12 that it will no longer charge $10 for a security freeze.) A credit freeze prevents lenders from accessing your credit information, making it much harder for someone to open a new account of any kind in your name – only your current creditors will be able to access your credit report. Also note that you can tell the credit bureaus to lift your credit freeze if you need to apply for new credit, which you can do for a particular credit application or temporarily for a chose period of time. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent your creditors from reporting your payments on existing accounts to the credit bureaus.
  • Monitor your accounts.
    Pay close attention to credit card and bank statements for any unauthorized charges.
  • Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report files.
    A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim, and they should take extra steps to verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.
  • Consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service.
    Equifax is offering one free year of credit monitoring to all consumers, regardless of whether your personal information may have been stolen.

Q:  How can I contact the three major credit bureaus?
A:   Call the numbers below or visit their websites

  • Equifax: 800-349-9960
  • Experian: 888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 888-909-8872

PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

In addition to the steps outlined above, it’s always important to protect your personal information. Below are a few security tips to keep in mind at all times.

Password Security Tips

  • Protect your account.
    Don’t share your User ID or password with anyone. Make sure you safeguard your User ID and password information, and never leave it written down in an unsecured location.
  • Change it up.
    Create a unique User ID and password for each site that you visit. Don’t use the same identifying information on multiple websites. In the case that one website were to be breached, it will make it harder for hackers to access your data. This also prevents you from having to update all of your credentials if one site is compromised.
  • Strength in numbers (and characters).
    Create strong passwords that contain a mix of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (!@#$%^&*). The longer the password the more secure your account and data will be.
  • Change is good.
    Many websites force password changes every 30 or 60 days. If a website doesn’t do so, take the initiative and change your password on a regular basis.

Website Security Tips

  • Monitor your account activity.
    Log in and view your online account activity on a regular basis and review periodic account statements to make sure they’re accurate, on a monthly or quarterly basis.
  • Log off.
    Make sure you always log off from a website— don’t just close the page or “X” out.
  • Look for the s.
    Secure websites have a web address that includes an “s” (for example, https rather than http). If this is lacking, the site is not secure and likely not genuine. Don’t log in or conduct business on sites that may not be secure.

 Computer / Network Security Tips

  • Get the software.
    Use your computer’s security monitoring software that includes anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall functions, and take advantage of security features like individual log-in accounts, when possible.
  • Stay current.
    Keep your computer’s system security up-to-date by applying patches and updates, whenever they become available.
  • Enable passwords.
    Always enable passwords on your computer, wireless router, or any other physical or wireless system.

BYLINE’S COMMITMENT TO YOU

Q:  How does Byline protect customer information?
A:  At Byline, our online financial solutions have built-in security features which are continually enhanced to respond to evolving and emerging digital threats. We’re committed to protecting your privacy and data, so we’ll never call, email or otherwise contact you to request your access ID, password, or other log-in credentials for the online services we offer.

As good neighbors, Byline Bank cares about protecting your privacy and data and hope the information provided is helpful as it relates to Equifax as well as to ongoing privacy and data protection.