On September 7th, Equifax, one of our nation’s 3 credit reporting agencies, announced they experienced a data breach. There’s a good chance you’re one of the 143 million Americans whose sensitive personal information was exposed. According to Equifax, the breach was from May through July. During this time, hackers were able to access people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
What to do:
- First, determine if your information was exposed by visiting www.equifaxsecurity2017.com by clicking on the “Potential Impact” tab. Enter your last name and last six digits of your Social Security number.
- Whether or not your information has been exposed, Equifax is offering a year of free credit monitoring and other services. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
Additional steps to take to help protect your information:
- Check your credit reports – Visit AnnualCreditReport.com for free. Any activity you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentifyTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Place a credit freeze – Contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion). You’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees may apply and commonly range from $5 to $10.
- Place a fraud alert on your file – This will warn creditors that you may be a victim of identity theft and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
- Early tax filing – File your taxes right away, before a scammer can.
- Monitor existing credit card and bank accounts – Look for any charges you don’t recognize.
To learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach contact your LSL Advisor.