Equifax Data Breach: What can you do to protect yourself?

Posted

1) Check with Equifax to see if you have been impacted. Start by clicking on the “Am I impacted?” button.

 

2) Decide if you want to enroll in credit monitoring. According to Equifax, if you were indeed impacted by the breach, you can enroll in credit protection and monitoring. Once you receive a signup date for the service, you will be given the option to register for one year of credit monitoring on or after that given date.

 

3) Place a security freeze on your credit files. Keep fraudsters from opening new accounts in your name and block your credit history by applying a credit file freeze at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Two important points regarding security freezes you should be aware of:

  • A security freeze may not protect you from every identity fraud so be sure to check out other ways you can protect yourself.

  • If you’re looking to buy a home or car, you must remove the freeze to allow financial lenders access to your credit information.

 

 

Depending on where you live, there may be a fee to apply, and in some cases, remove the service from your credit file. Equifax however said it would not charge for credit freezes for those affected by the breach.

 

4) Protect your money. You can activate two-factor authentication for critical financial accounts, maximize your mutual fund security, place a fraud alert on credit reports, and secure your smartphone and email. It may sound like a lot to do, but taking these steps will really help protect your finances.

 

Need help deciding which credit protection option is best for you? Learn more about the differences between a security freeze and a fraud alert.

 

Unfortunately, data breaches too often put consumers at risk. While the steps above will help you if your data is compromised, there is one more step you can take to help protect yourself and other consumers from future breaches. If you haven’t already, please add your name to our petition calling for stronger data security standards and urging Equifax to remediate the serious damage of this breach.