The Equifax Data Breach: What to do and what it means for you

WISCONSIN (WBAY) - Credit monitoring company Equifax has been hit by a high-tech heist that exposed the Social Security numbers and other sensitive information about 143 million Americans.

The theft contained consumers' names, Social Security number, birth dates and more. Equifax discovered the theft on July 29, but waited until Thursday to warn consumers.

They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000.

What does this mean for you?

The Federal Trade Commission says they have some tips on this breach

This is the site to check if you have been impacted:

Click on the "Potential Impact" tab and there you enter your last name and last eight digits of your Social Security. The commission says be on a secure computer and encrypted network connection. This website will tell you if you have been affected.

U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring, whether or not you have been impacted by the breach. The site will give a date to come back and enroll. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.

Other tips to protect yourself:

-Check your credit reports
-Consider placing a credit freeze on your files
-Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely.
-Consider placing a fraud alert on your files