Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft
Data breaches are happening at an alarming rate, and it’s important to know how to respond. If you’ve been impacted by a data breach, your personal, sensitive information, including your Social Security number, birth date, address, and driver’s license number are at risk of being stolen and misused. Here are some steps from the Federal Trade Commission you can take to protect your information after a data breach:
- Check your credit reports. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com to view your credit reports for free from the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
- Place a credit freeze or fraud alert on your files. A credit freeze makes it so that no one — not even you — can access your credit report to open a new account. A fraud alert tells creditors or businesses to contact you before an account is opened in your name to verify your identity.
- Monitor your credit card and bank accounts. Watch for any charges you didn’t make.
- File your taxes as soon as possible. Cyber criminals can use your stolen personal information to claim your tax refund, so try to file your return before a scammer can.
If you become the victim of identity theft, visit identitytheft.gov to find out what to do. They also have additional information about protecting yourself after a data breach. Click on the link below to learn more.
FTC Identity Theft Recovery Plan