In light of the recent Equifax security breach, many of us have spiked a justified concern regarding the theft of our personal information. While it is always important to practice safety measures regarding online security, instances such as this leave many people wondering what exactly they should do after their sensitive information has been stolen. Not everyone that was involved in a breach will necessarily be a victim of identity theft, but it is important to stay on high alert following an event like this.
Here are 5 tips on what to do after you discover your information has been compromised:
Be alert. Usually, if you have been a part of a data breach, the company in question will send you notice. Keep any information that they send you on hand, as well as any unfamiliar documents you may receive from unknown lenders or the like.
Add a fraud alert. The three major credit bureaus will allow you to post a fraud alert on your accounts, which will warn lenders that you may have been a fraud victim. This will cause the potential lender to contact you directly before granting any new line of credit in your name. This security alert will remain on your report for 90 days, which will then require a renewal if you want it to continue.
Monitor your accounts. Keep a close eye on online banking and other financial accounts. Turn on any alerts they may have so that you can know as soon as possible if something happens with your accounts.
Monitor credit reports. This is a step that should always be on your radar, but especially so after a possible security breach. Keep an eye out for any new accounts, inquires, or added information.
Freeze or lock your credit file. In some cases, you may also consider adding a security freeze to your credit file. This will prevent any possible lenders from accessing your credit at all, and it will only be accessible once you personally unfreeze the account. There may be fees and requirements for this freeze.
When instances such as this data breach arise, it may be difficult to want to trust other corporations with your information. By using a password manager such as FORTR3SS, you can add an extra layer of security to your information that can provide peace of mind as well.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!