Equifax announced yesterday a breach of historic proportions — up to 143 million consumers whose most sensitive data has been breached. This includes SSNs, dates of birth, addresses and whatever other data Equifax — a credit reporting agency — has on millions and millions of individuals.

Everyone needs to go ASAP to the website they’ve created to see if they are among the millions whose information has been hacked. That website is: http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. The first step on that site is the “Check Potential Impact” tab where you enter your last name and the last 6 digits of your SSN. Doing so brings up a message of either “no impact” or “thanks” with a date on which to enroll in TrustedIDPremier — meaning that you’re among the millions whose information has been hacked.

The public will likely never know how this happened. Consumers have to be pro-active — go to the Equifax site; go to the Federal Trade Commission website (www.FTC.gov/idtheft) to learn about additional protective steps to take; and of course, keep a very close eye on credit card statements and bank accounts.