As you’ve likely heard, last week credit reporting bureau Equifax announced a major data breach affecting approximately 143 million Americans. The company said that from mid-May through the end of July, criminals exploited an Equifax website vulnerability to access names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some cases driver’s licenses.
This information can be used by criminals to establish fraudulent accounts. You can check if your information was exposed at Equifax’s site.
Here are options to protect your information:
- Credit freeze – contact all four credit bureaus and request a freeze on your account, fees may apply.
- Sign up for credit monitoring service like Lifelock or similar. Each credit bureau offers a service, fees may apply.
- Fraud alert - contact each credit bureau and request a fraud alert.
- Free credit reports - use Annual Credit Report to request your free annual credit report.
The federal trade commission has helpful information on their site: Federal Trade Commission