I don’t know about you, but I hate waking up to news that my personal information may have been hacked.

So this morning when I awoke and opened my newspaper (yes, I still read the print version), I was greeted with the following headline, “Massive breach exposes 143M.

First, let me digress for a second. I always chuckle when reading M because technically the Roman numeral M means thousand and with over 20 years in the finance industry, I’ve always used MM for million.

Okay, so now back to this massive data breach. You see, like most consumers, I am very protective of my personal information.

I, just mostly like you, have been a victim of various data security hacks. I am a big proponent of getting data breach monitoring from Have I Been Pwned.

In fact, my personal email and/or login credentials has been found to be included in eight such data breaches.

But this new massive data breach is more concerning to me because it comes from one of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax.

On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that it had discovered in late July, that hackers obtained personal data of approximately 143 million (or 143MM) American, British and Canadian Consumers.

Starting in mid-May 2017, the data obtained from the hackers included Social Security numbers, home addresses, birth dates and in some cases driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers.

For more information on this data breach, see the video below:

With this treasure trove of data, this is the perfect recipe for hackers to steal identities.

In my opinion, the most important piece of information within the video is that Equifax is taking the unprecedented steps of offering every American consumer a “comprehensive package of identity theft protection and credit monitoring at no cost.”

What can you do to find out if you have been affected by the Equifax data breach?

Equifax has a dedicated website that has been set for consumers to check to see if there data has been compromised.

For me, I found out that I was affected by the data breach. I was also then given a date where I am eligible to enroll in the TrustedID Premier.

So if it can happen to me, it can happen to you. It is time to protect, your credit too.