By now, most of us have heard of the recent data breach at the credit bureau, Equifax. That’s because this event affected 44% of the U.S. population. If you find out that your information has been exposed there are a few actions you should take to protect your identity.
- See if you were impacted here.
- If you have an account with Equifax, change the password for it immediately. It wasn’t disclosed as being part of this breach, but it’s always a good idea to do this after any breach.
- Next, while in the account settings changing your password, enable two-factor authentication if you haven’t already. This will prevent anyone with bad intentions from requesting a password reset by using your email address. It will also keep them from getting into your account using only your password.
- Be sure to check credit reports often by keeping an eye on these should be normal practice.
- Be on the lookout for phishing emails that attempt to get you to click links or open attachments. Often, these phishing campaigns ramp up to take advantage of news like this. If your information was included in this breach, don’t rely on an email to tell you. Check the website wait to see if you receive a paper letter in the U.S. Mail from Equifax.
Something that often gets overlooked is monitoring the credit of children. In theory, children under 18 should not have a credit report, because they are not consumers. If you find a report for your child on file with Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, investigate it and the possibility of fraud using the child’s information. Anyone with a social security number can be a victim of identity theft.
For extra protection, sign up for Identity Protect through Family Trust here.