As you’ve probably heard by now, Equifax suffered a massive data breach in July. By massive I mean up to 143 million. Equifax is one of the 3 major credit bureaus, and as such has access to some of your most sensitive information – things like your social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, date of birth, and more. Then, to make matters even worse, they posted a site that claims to provide free identity theft protection, but in reality you will have to pay for it, plus you might lose your right to sue Equifax in the fine print.
This is just the most recent example of no matter how careful you try to be with your personal information; there are forces outside your control that can still lead to your PII being exposed. IDShield knows how stressful and unnerving breaches like this can be, and we are here to help. As a member you have full access to our dedicated licensed private investigators to ask any questions and get help if they are worried they are a victim of fraud. But there are also some steps that anyone can take to give themselves an extra layer of security –
- First, set up a fraud alert. This will reduce the chance of a fraudster opening a credit or loan account in your name. If you place the alert with one bureau, they will ensure its placed on the other bureaus as well. You can search for placing a fraud alert online and choose to go through one of the main bureaus.
- Second, be diligent. Don’t give out your personal information if it sounds fishy. IDShield members, if you’re unsure, this is a great time to call your licensed private investigator for advice! Third, change your passwords for online banking and other finance accounts. This will reduce the risk of your money or assets being moved fraudulently. As you change your password, use your IDShield Vault password manager to generate a new strong password! And of course, if you don’t yet have IDShield, this is a great time to sign up for comprehensive identity protection and full service, white glove restoration.