Are You A Victim of the Equifax Breach? Things You Can Do
Oh, great, another data breach, this time at Equifax, one of the three largest credit reporting agencies in the country. Officials are saying as many as 143 million people may have had their records stolen. That is a serious problem. An article I was reading last night gave a web address to the Equifax Trusted ID Premier program, which will off free credit monitoring for a year, and after you register will tell you if your information is among the millions that may have been breached.
I was shocked to discover that mine may have been among the hacked information so, besides registering for credit monitoring, what else an you do?
According to the free credit score and consumer financial information website Wallethub, there are 5 steps you can take to protect yourself.
1. Sign up for 24/7 credit monitoring. This will let you know right away if a credit account is opened in your name.
2. Enable two-factor authentication. Use your cell phone number for an added layer of protection.
3. A freeze works better than alert. Wallethub says that probably isn't necessary in this case but, freezing your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion reports will stop anyone but you from getting your report, which makes taking out loans or lines of credit.
4. Suppress fraudulent info. You can dispute fraudulent info in your report but even better is something called suppression blocking which gets rid of negative info that may come from identity theft.
5. Never respond to unsolicited information requests. That applies to emails, texts or phone calls. These can be other ways identity thieves can get your personal information.
If you want more information on how to protect yourself, click here for WalletHub's guide and steps to take if your identity is stolen.