As you probably know by now, Equifax had themselves a gigantic data breach. This breach can potentially impact the lives of over 143 million Americans. That is a lot of people. And because we love you, here is a quick and dirty guide to how to find out if you are in danger and how you can protect yourself if your data was compromised.
How do I know if my data was breached?
First, you should go to this website to check if you’re one of the 143 million people impacted by the Equifax Data breach. If you’re not, you are probably fine to just do nothing. If you are, then there are a few things you can do to make sure your information, identity and money are protected.
As a way to say, “Whoops! Our bad, you guys.” Equifax is offering a free year of TrustedID, a service that monitors credit reports and offers identity theft insurance and internet scanning for social security numbers.
What can I do to protect myself from this?
1. First thing you should do is freeze your credit reports. Adam Levin, a consumer advocate and chairman of security firm CyberScout, said that customers should freeze credit reports at all three credit bureaus. This will prevent fraudsters from trying to obtain payday loans or demand deposit accounts using your identity. These breaches could also lead to phishing scams, so if your information was compromised, you need to be mindful of that.
2. The next thing you should do is alert any financial institutions where you hold accounts. Change your passwords to those accounts and add the extra security with two-step authorization.
3. Finally, sign up for identity protection services like Lifelock. The company offers a fairly inexpensive identity theft protection system, which helps detect fraudulent applications for various credit and non-credit related services.
Stay safe out there. And remember to protect yourself if you were affected by this breach.