Minnesota was one of several states that just settled a massive lawsuit with Equifax over its data breach. Here's how it could affect you.

It seems we hear about data breaches, where your sensitive data and information could have fallen into the wrong hands, all the time, right? Often times, it involves places you might have used a credit or debit card to pay for a product or service.

But not back in 2017, when credit reporting firm, Equifax, announced its data had been breached. Which is what REALLY ticked me off. Because even though you and I were probably not even customers of Equifax-- unless you applied for credit, of course-- the carelessness with which they handled our sensitive data made it vulnerable to hackers.

According to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, this breach was big. Huge even. An investigation found that "Equifax’s failure to maintain a reasonable security system enabled hackers to penetrate its systems, exposing the data of 56 percent of American adults — the largest-ever breach of consumer data," the AG said in a post on his website. Thanks for nothing, Equifax!

And around 2 million of us Minnesotans could have been affected. Which is why Minnesota joined a group other states and U.S. territories to pursue a $600 million dollar settlement with Equifax in that 2017 data breach-- the largest settlement in history.

So what should you do if you think your information was compromised? Here's what the Attorney General's office says:

Consumers who are eligible for redress will be required to submit claims online or by mail. Paper claims forms can also be requested over the phone. Consumers will be able to obtain information about the settlement, check their eligibility to file a claim, and file a claim on the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry. To receive email updates regarding the launch of this online registry, consumers can sign up at www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach. Consumers can also call the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982 for more information. 

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