Equifax: What to do if you were hacked

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith is scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee Thursday, October 5.

It comes after he endured a barrage of questions Wednesday, October 4, from senators on Capitol Hill over the company's massive data breach.

Much of the focus was on the $7 million contract the company signed the week of Sunday, September 24, with the Internal Revenue Service, to prevent fraud. That agreement was made after the credit monitoring agency announced a security breach that may have exposed personal information of $145 million people. U.S. Senators Ben Sasse and Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to the IRS commissioner Wednesday demanding answers about the contract.

What to do if you've been hacked:

The Better Business Bureau's Sandra Bowden joined us Wednesday on WQAD News 8 at 11 for our Scam Tracker segment.

Bowden says customers can put a fraud alert on their credit files, making it harder for a thief to open more accounts. She says customers should contact one of the three reporting companies and ask them if they'll contact the other two for you.

"If you go out to buy a home or car, get a credit card, they will have to contact you to see if you are in fact the person that's trying to do that," Bowden said.

Bowden said customers can also freeze their credit, which means no one can access their account, including yourself. Consumers who want more information about the incident should visit equifaxsecurity2017.com. 

Related: How to check if you're a part of the breach


What the federal government may do:

Social security numbers could soon be gone because of security issues like the one at Equifax.

At a cyber security summit in Boston, Rob Joyce said the White House is considering replacing the social security number. Joyce says using the number as an identifier or a way to control access is a horrific idea. He says there is a team looking at what technology could replace the number, like using public key encryption.

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