What should I do about the Equifax security breach?
You may have heard the news about the security breach at Equifax where over 143 million consumers in the US personal information was exposed. The potentially exposed information includes: full name, address, date of birth, social security number, and even driver license number. Given the size of this breach we are advising all consumers to take steps to protect themselves.
- Don't Panic. Despite the large size of this breach, just being exposed does not necessarily mean you will have an ID theft incident. Also, keep in mind that all Credit Sesame members have ID theft protection.
- Find out if your information was compromised. Equifax have created a site where concerned consumers can find out if their information was compromised in this incident. Go to equifaxsecurity2017.com and enter your personal information and they will tell you if your information was affected.
- Take action to monitor and protect your credit. Whether or not your information was compromised in this incident, it is a great idea to monitor your credit and maintain ID theft protection. The good news is that if you are already a Credit Sesame member, you are already covered even if you are a free member. Your Credit Sesame membership includes TransUnion credit monitoring monitoring as well as $50,000 of ID theft insurance and assisted restoration should an incident occur. Higher levels of insurance coverage, white glove restoration services and advance features like 3 bureau monitoring are available with an upgrade to one of our premium plans. It should be noted that Equifax is also offering 12 month's of one bureau monitoring and ID theft protection through TrustedID whether or not you were affected by this incident. Keep in mind that you may need to cancel your ID protection after the year elapses if you don't want to be billed. Lastly, if your information was exposed in this incident, we do recommend that you put a 90-day fraud alert with one credit bureau. A fraud alert will alert potential creditors that your identity may be compromised and compel them to contact you at a specific phone number before they issue you new credit.
- Pay Attention. Be sure to continue to monitor your credit on an ongoing basis. Be on the look out for credit monitoring alerts indicating any unusual activity on your credit reports or other financial accounts. Pay particular attention to new inquiries, newly opened accounts or unexpected transactions.
- Act fast if ID theft strikes. If you are unfortunate to experience ID theft, taking swift action is the best course of action. As a Credit Sesame member, we recommend that you immediately contact our credit restoration agents at 855-799-9111 option 3. At that point, you may also want to consider a credit freeze to block anyone from pulling your credit report.
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