Recently Equifax, one of three major credit reporting agencies, had a data breach that compromised an estimated 143 million people’s names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license information. Additionally, over two hundred thousand credit card numbers were comprised. There is a good chance your private information may have been compromised. Do not wait to be notified from Equifax that your information was breached. Below are some of the ways you can be proactive to ascertain if your private information has been compromised.
1. Check an online registry at Equifax (www.EquifaxSecurity2017.com). This registry reportedly has its own issues – do not solely rely on the information you receive from it. From this site, you may sign up for free credit monitoring through TrustedID before November 21, 2017.
2. Obtain a credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com now and regularly to confirm no new accounts have been opened in your name. You can access a free report every
twelve (12) months from each of the three (3) credit reporting companies.
3. Be on the lookout for anything suspicious – in your email, regular mail, bank statements, or credit card statements. If you aren’t already, check all of your statements regularly to ensure their accuracy.
4. Check your annual Social Security benefits statement online to look for anything out of the ordinary (https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/).
5. File your income taxes early before someone who may have your private information can.
It is best to remain vigilant with your private information. This breach is not an isolated incident. There were several data breaches before the Equifax breach and there will be several after. By keeping a close eye on your information and being weary of any unusual activity you can minimize the risk or effect of a breach.