We’ve talked before about that massive Equifax breach that exposed the data of over 140 million consumers. Guess what? It just got worse.
In addition to driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, addresses and other information, it turns out that even more identifying information was exposed including email addresses, phone numbers, tax ID numbers, expiration dates for credit cards, and additional driver’s license details.
Of course, the more information that scammers have, the easier it is for them to steal your identity. On top of that, it turns out 214 million more consumers that originally thought were affected by this breach.
There’s not much you can do to prevent companies or government agencies that have your private information from being careless with it. Your best bet is to always be vigilant.
Here are three steps you can take to protect your accounts.
Check your credit report for accounts you didn’t open. You can request a free credit report from the major credit monitoring companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) by clicking here. You’re limited to one free report a year.
Place a security freeze on your credit. You’ll need to unfreeze your report before applying for new credit. But this will prevent crooks from using your account. This will need to be done separately with each of the credit monitoring agencies.
Click here to freeze Equifax.
Click here to freeze Experian
Click here to freeze TranUnion
If you think your accounts have been breached, place a fraud alert on your credit report. You’ll have to do that individually with each of the credit monitoring companies.
Click here for Equifax.
Here for Experian
And here for TransUnion