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Equifax Data Breach: How to protect yourself*
*Adapted by Jeff Blyskal with Consumer Reports
As most of you know, the data breach at Equifax has compromised sensitive data for nearly half of all U.S. consumers — including names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and the numbers of some driver's licenses. Now millions of Americans could be at risk for identity theft.
How to protect yourself
1. Check with Equifax to see if you have been impacted. Start by clicking on the "Am I impacted?" button.
2. Choose if you want to enroll in credit monitoring. According to Equifax, if you were indeed affected by the breach, you can enroll in credit protection and monitoring.
3. Place a security freeze on your credit files. Keep imposters from opening new accounts in your name and block your credit history by applying a credit file freeze at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Two important points regarding security freezes you should be mindful of:
- A security freeze may not protect you from every identity fraud so be sure to check out other ways you can protect yourself.
- If you're planning to buy a home or car, you must remove the freeze to allow financial lenders access to your credit information.
Equifax, however, said they will not charge for credit freezes for those affected by the breach.
4. Protect your money. You can activate two-factor authentication for critical financial accounts, maximize your mutual fund security, place a fraud alert on credit reports, and secure your smartphone and email. It may sound like a lot to do, but taking these steps will really help protect your finances.
Need help deciding which credit protection option is best for you? Learn more about the differences between a security freeze and a fraud alert.
Data breaches too often put consumers at risk. While the steps above will help you if your data is compromised, you can protect yourself and other consumers from future breaches by adding your name to the Consumers Reports petition. This petition calls for stronger data security standards and urges Equifax to remediate the serious damage of this breach.
As a University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union member you can take advantage of our special offer with LifeLock. Receive 30 FREE days of identity theft protection and 10% OFF your LifeLock membership. Start your protection, enroll in minutes!