If you are one of the 143 million American people whose names, birth dates, social security numbers, driving license numbers, and addresses may have been hacked, you might have one common question at present: “What can I do right now as protection from the Equifax hack?”
Well, these personal information pieces are used for credit cards too; hence, if you are a victim of Equifax hack, your card is probably at a higher risk right now. If you are worried about your data security, here are a few things you can apply to protect your data:
1. Inspect whether you are affected
A free tool ( www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the Check Potential Impact tab. )
is being offered by Equifax that inspects whether your data was hacked or not, and you definitely should go for it as early as possible to check whether you were affected. You should input the last six digits of your social password and the last name, and you will come to know from the tool whether you were a victim of the data breach.
After finishing this process, Equifax will try to enroll your name in the free credit monitoring program which you should be aware of. It’s up to you whether you want to keep your faith in Equifax or not. Also, be cautious about their terms and conditions as well.
2. Place a fraud alert on the credit report
If you are still unsure about the credit or if the inspection from Equifax came back positive, you can place a fraud alert on your credit report with the help of the credit bureaus. With the help of this, you can force credit card companies , banks, and others for performing extra screening for verifying your recognition. This will help you secure your credit from being affected.
You can put the fraudulence alert on the credit report which can be issued by any of the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax or Experian. The duration of this fraud alert is 90 days, which is sufficient for you to solve your issues. You can ask for an extension if you need to extend the service. There may be a fee involved.
3. Assess your credit report
While putting a fraud alert, you will get a free copy of the credit history that must be used for deciding whether there is any suspicious activity. No matter whether you put this alert or not, you can still ask for this free credit report copy every year from the credit bureaus from (www.annualcreditreport.com). Also, you can monitor your credit score continuously using free services.
Ensure to contact your bank or credit card organization if you find any strange charges and follow their reporting process.
4. Put a freeze on your credit
This is the best step to secure your credit score. Putting a freeze on your credit will prevent anyone from using it. Even you wont be able to open a new credit card or bank account as it can spoil your credit score. However, you can unfreeze your credit report at any time; hence, you can protect the credit report with this temporary process.