Last week, almost half of the United States population was affected by the Equifax data breach. Information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and drivers license numbers being accessed by cybercriminals. You may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself. Here is Burton with 5 things you can do right now to protect yourself!
5 Things You Need To Do Right Now To Protect Yourself Against The Equifax Hack
Because of severity of the Equifax data breach, I recommend that, anyone with a credit history should assume they were affected by this data breach.
So what steps do you need to take?
Check your credit
Federal law allows you to request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get your credit report now.
Enroll in a credit monitoring service
Services like LifeLock, Identity Guard, IdentityForce. While I’ve never been a big fan of credit monitoring services, now is the time to invest in one. They can’t decrease your chances of becoming a victim, they’ll alert you when something goes wrong and help you clean up the mess if someone tries to steal your identity.
Watch out come tax season
It’s important for you to know that identity thieves can use your stolen social security number and other information obtained in the breach to file fraudulent tax returns and get refunds. You probably should file your taxes early next year.
Watch Out for Scams
With your personal information in the hands of cybercriminals, you need to be extra cautious as scammers have more information they can use against you to con you. After this breach you may start to receive suspicious or unrecognised phone calls, text messages, or email from anyone saying you must pay taxes or a debt immediately.
Review you statements
If you don’t already, make a point to regularly check and monitor your bank and credit card accounts no less than once a week to ensure the listed transactions are legitimate.If you’re like me, you still probably aren’t feeling 100% secure, even after completing the above steps. It’s hard to know how many of us have been affected so I recommend being vigilant in reviewing your financial information for any strange activity.
From iFamily to Yours,
Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org