How to Protect your Identity After a Breach

With the major data breach that just took place with Equifax, many people are on high alert regarding their personal information and credit reports. If you are worried or concerned about protecting your personal information, you can place a fraud alert and/or a credit freeze on your credit report. Both of these options provide an extra layer of protection to your identifying information.
However, even with these tools in place, you will still need to keep an eye on your current accounts (banking, insurance, loans, etc.) for unauthorized transactions.

 Credit Freeze
A credit freeze can be useful when you think your personal information has been compromised. A credit freeze has a small fee and completely restricts access to your credit report. You will receive a PIN or password that will be required once you are ready to lift the freeze.

To establish a credit freeze, you need to contact all three credit reporting agencies.

 Fraud Alert
A fraud alert will allow creditors access to your credit report only after they take extra steps to verify your identity – usually through a phone call to you. A fraud alert will only last for 90 days, but you can renew it.

To establish a fraud alert, you will only need to contact one credit reporting agency. That agency is then required to contact the other two.

For your convenience, the websites for all three credit reporting agencies are below:
If you’re looking for more information, the AICPA has an article with more resources and tips here: Surviving the Equifax Data Breach

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