Steps to take after Equifax breach

Steps to take after Equifax breach”

Consider a credit freeze: A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open an account in your name, but it will not stop them from changing accounts once they have access to them.

"When the experts are saying, 'You should do this now, ' it struck panic in me". I would have to wait nearly a week to get it. So far, so good. Still, fraudulent returns are a big concern for retail companies, costing them billions of dollars a year, company reports say. A freeze restricts access to your credit report, making it almost impossible for someone to open a new account or line of credit in your name. While a credit freeze does have its limitations - specifically, it doesn't prevent a thief from using your current credit accounts - it's the most effective way to "secure" your credit report. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Thursday that Equifax executives should testify before the Senate. Mark Warner of Virginia on Wednesday asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine the recent hack of Equifax, the credit-reporting agency.

If successful, scammers can ruin your credit and steal your hard-earned money.

Though Equifax blamed an unspecified "website application vulnerability" in its attack, a more common risk is bad passwords, Kalember said. The information accessed included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and in some cases, driver's license numbers and credit card numbers. Instead, the message provided contact information for the two other credit rating agencies - Transunion and Experian. But remember, you need to put a freeze into place with all three bureaus for this to truly accomplish anything.

The company has set up a website for consumers to figure out if their information has been compromised and sign up for credit monitoring.

Tip #2: Run your credit report.

Extended Fraud Alert If you are a victim of identity theft, an extended fraud alert protects your credit for seven years.

But it would be helpful to have in place for the time being.

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Aside from freezing your credit, there are several other steps you can take. This could alert me if cybercriminals are selling my Social Security number online. Most victims don't find out about the fraud until they go to file their tax returns and are informed that someone has already filed a return using their Social Security number.

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