Go claim your $125 from Equifax. Right now. Even if $125 isn't a sum of money that matters to you, even if you don't feel you were really directly affected by the breach. Even if the prospect of filling out a relatively brief online form fills you with more dread than the theft of all your personal data.
Consider it a part of your civic duty: driving up the costs of data breaches for corporations so they have an incentive to invest more heavily in security. [...]
You may be thinking, But I don't want to give Equifax the last six digits of my Social Security number and my birthdate and mailing address after it's demonstrated just how much it can't be trusted! Believe me, the company already knows all that information -- and so much more. But it's so much work to fill out the entire form! It's really not, unless you want to claim additional lost time or expenses beyond the base $125 payout [...]
If, for instance, you went ahead and purchased LifeLock or some other credit monitoring service after the Equifax breach, go ahead and submit that receipt too. Each individual is eligible to receive up to $20,000 as part of the settlement; $125 is just the amount you can receive without having to do any extra work or claim any extra losses. The settlement also includes provisions to reimburse you for your lost time at a rate of $25 per hour. If you spent hours on the phone trying to clear up suspicious credit activity or figure out whether you had been affected, go ahead and submit that as well.
Help make sure that companies pay the consequences for data breaches.