Recently, 143 million Americans were affected by the security breach at Equifax from an online hacker organization. While these hacks seem to occur more and more frequently, the widespread nature of this attack will most likely affect you or someone you know. Below, we have summarized the steps you should consider taking to prepare yourself and your private information from future attacks. These steps should help in notifying you of any unauthorized activity using your personal information, and keep you abreast of suspicious activities occurring with your identification. As the news regarding this hack is still very current, we will continue to update you if there are any new relevant facts or ways to help mitigate this event.
The NY Times has given some steps to prepare yourself from future attacks. The full article can found using the hyper link below.
- You should consider setting up fraud alerts with a major credit reporting agency. The three largest credit reporting agencies are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The credit agencies will send an alert to you if someone tries to apply for credit using your name.
- Consider filing a credit freeze that will lock your credit files with each of the credit reporting agencies. A credit freeze will allow only the companies you already do business with to access to your files. When you apply for new credit and the lender pulls up a credit report, having your credit report locked will prevent any thieves from obtaining credit using your information. This “lock” can be unfrozen for a period of time by contacting the credit agency directly.
- Checking your credit report has become very easy and is free in most cases. You should check your credit report from each of the agencies a few times every year to make sure there is no unauthorized activity.
- Lastly, with the Equifax hack, the company is offering one free year of credit monitoring to all Americans. This will help you protect your online identity and stay safe. Click here for access to free credit monitoring.
Additional information regarding the security breach from Equifax is summarized below. Equifax has sent out a notice on a progress update for consumers. As some consumers are still facing challenges, the company has made the following updates.
- If you are initiating an Equifax security freeze solution, the company has adjusted their PIN generation for security freezes. Consumers will be provided a randomly generated PIN to help keep their information secure.
- Equifax has added an FAQ on their website to answer any frequently asked questions regarding the cybersecurity incident. Click here for the FAQ.