Equifax data breach: What you need to know

A huge security breach at credit reporting company Equifax has exposed sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and addresses, of up to 143 million Americans.

Unlike other data breaches, those affected by the breach may not even know they’re customers of the company.

Equifax (EFX) is one of three nationwide credit-reporting agencies that track and rate the financial history of consumers. The company gets its data from credit card companies, banks, retailers and lenders — sometimes without you knowing.

The data breach is among the worst ever because of the amount of people affected and the sensitive type of information exposed.

How many people were affected?

The company says as many as 143 million people in the United States were hit. Others in the U.K. and Canada were also impacted, but Equifax hasn’t said how many. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. customers were compromised, in addition to “personal identifying information” on about 182,000 U.S. customers.

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