Safety Steps on Data Breaches from Equifax Credit Reporting Agency Hack?
Data breaches from Equifax have recently affected more than 40% of all (maximum) in the country and you may be financially at risk. Risks include Social Security number, date of birth, address of more than 143 million Americans. Equifax also said irregularities involved 11 million driver license numbers (though not stated how many states or states may be affected), about 209,000 U.S. consumers ‘credit card numbers and some 182,000 U.S. consumers’ personally identifiable information Some sensitive documents or information is online.
What should you do? What is the best way to protect me and my family? I have a credit monitoring service, I really protect? These questions will be answered below.
The only credit cards affected are those that currently have Equifax credit monitoring services. If you are being monitored, you may need to contact the card issuer.
Equifax will provide one-year free credit monitoring service. In addition, it has created a website – www.equifaxsecurity2017.com – to try to get people to determine if it is affected.
Note: This website is vulnerable to cross-site scripting and is therefore only directly accessible through the direct links listed in this document or through the main Equifax website. Do not click the links to other sites as this may introduce vulnerabilities in your session and disclose more information.
Instead of simply relying on credit monitoring, you are advised to add a “block” to the credit file.
I suggest you do this in all four major credit reporting agencies:
Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union
You may also opt out of the following sites: ChexSystems will reduce or eliminate many of the new credit card offers you receive. (Please refer to the Q & A below)
Links to other information:
Related questions and answers (Q & A) are as follows.
Q: Wait, what? I think this is the focus of credit monitoring services?
A: The credit bureau does want you to believe, but in practice, it is not. These services do not prevent thieves from using your identity to open new lines of credit and undermine your reputation in the process. The best you can hope for is credit monitoring services that will alert you soon after ID thieves steal your identity.
Q: What is service?
A: Credit monitoring services are mainly used to help consumers recover from identity theft. Doing this often takes dozens of hours to write and mail letters and spend time talking to creditors and credit bureaus over the phone to resolve the mess. You may also be liable for legal costs if the identity theft causes the identity theft to be prosecuted in your name. Most of these services will reimburse you for a certain amount of actual expenses associated with these jobs. But a better solution is to prevent thieves from stealing your identity.
Q: What is the best way?
A: Submit a security freeze along with the four major credit bureaus – also known as a credit freeze.
Q: What is security freeze?
A: A security freeze essentially prevents any potential creditor from viewing or “pulling” your credit file unless you definitively thaw or thaw your files in advance. If your credit file is frozen, identity thieves can apply for all credit they want in their own name, but they will not get a new line of credit in your name because few creditors are able to prolong their inability to do so Credit line to measure the risk of loans to you (i.e. view your credit file). And since every credit inquiry caused by a creditor may reduce your credit score, freezing also helps to protect your score, which is what most lenders use to decide whether to grant you a credit line when you really need and apply it.
Q: What is involved in freezing my credit file?
A: Freezing your credit includes notifying each of the major credit bureaus that you want to freeze your credit profile. This can usually be done online, but in a few cases, you may need to contact one or more credit bureaus by phone or in writing. Once you complete the application process, each office will provide a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you can use to defrost or “thaw” your credit profile for future applications requiring a new credit line. Depending on your living conditions and your situation, you may also need to pay a small fee to freeze each board. There are four consumer credit bureaus including Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union. It is a good idea to keep the thawing password in a safe place (and possibly the latest credit report), so it’s easy if you need to undo the freeze.
Q: How much is the charge, how do I know if I have to pay?
A: Costs for each office range from $ 0 to $ 15, which means that a freeze of more than $ 60 can be frozen at all four credit bureaus (recommended). However, in most states, consumers are free to freeze their credit records at each of the major credit bureaus if they also provide a copy of the police report and, in some cases, the affidavit considers that he/she is likely to become Victim of identity theft. In many states, this police report can be submitted and obtained online. As long as consumers stay the same, the cost will be frozen. Consumers Union has a useful breakdown of state fees.
Q: But if I need to apply for a loan, or do I want to take advantage of the new credit card offer?
A: You freeze for a while (the default is 24 hours in most cases).
Q: What does it matter to unfreeze my credit file? Do I need to thaw in three innings?
A: To get new credit, the easiest way to unfreeze a file is to spend a few minutes talking to a company that wants credit lines (or online survey questions) about how their credit bureau relies on credit checks. It is likely to be one of the main offices. Once you know which office the creditor uses, contact the office by phone or online and provide the PIN they provided when you freeze the credit. Thawing should not take longer than 24 hours, but hiccups during thawing sometimes make things longer. It is best not to wait until the last minute to thaw your file.
Q: The credit bureau seems to make money by selling data about me to consumers. Frozen stopped it?
A: Freezing your files does not prevent the Bureau from collecting information about you as a consumer – including your spending habits and preferences – and collapsing and reselling the information to marketers.
Q: Can I still use a credit or debit card after I freeze?
A: Yes. Freezing will not prevent you from using existing credits that you may have.
Q: Ok, my file is frozen, what can I do?
A: It is best to inform a company called ChexSystems, pay close attention to fraudulent activities in your name. Thousands of banks rely on ChexSystems to validate customers who require new checks and savings accounts, and ChexSystems allows consumers to issue security alerts about their credit data to make it more difficult for ID thieves to fraudulently obtain checks and savings accounts. For more information on ChexSystems,
Q: What else?
A: ID thieves like to intercept new credit and insurance sent by mail, so it’s best not to choose a pre-approved credit quote. If you decide you do not want to receive pre-provided credit and insurance, you have two options: you can choose not to accept it for five years, or you can choose not to accept permanent payments.
Choose to opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. Phone numbers and websites are operated by major consumer reporting companies.
Quit permanently: You can start the program permanently online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed permanent selection to exit the Election Form, which will be provided after you have initiated the online request