Equifax Data Breach
Equifax has recently announced a major data breach impacting 143 million consumers. They have launched a dedicated website to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection.
When a data breach such as this one happens, your credit union is here to help you with the information and resources you need to monitor and protect your personal information.
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Sign up for credit monitoring. Equifax is offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance that you can sign up for at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ if you are impacted.
- Keep calm and keep a close eye on your personal finances. You can be your own best first line of defense by knowing what accounts you have and setting up Online Banking to monitor your accounts and alerts for those accounts.
- Check your credit reports. If you haven’t checked your credit reports in the past year, now would be a good time to visit annualcreditreport.com to get a free copy of your report to ensure there is no unfamiliar activity. If there is, contact the reporting financial institution immediately to report it.
- Set up fraud alerts with the credit reporting agencies. When a fraud alert is set, companies will be required to verify your identity before opening an account. If you have been compromised, you may want to consider freezing your credit report, but remember, this may prove cumbersome when you do want to apply for credit.
Other things to consider:
- Don’t let your guard down. When information like social security numbers are compromised, the fraud risks are sometimes less immediate and can go on for longer periods. Keeping a close eye on your personal accounts through Online Banking and mobile apps will allow you to minimize your risk.
- Enact additional security measures. Financial institutions often offer additional security options at your request. At Virginia Credit Union, you can add a password and enroll in VoiceID by phone.
- Help loved ones. If you have older relatives, or those without computer access who may need assistance in checking their accounts or signing up for credit monitoring, please consider helping them to do so, as they are often the most vulnerable to fraud.
- Get more information. Take the time to read more about the valuable information and tools for protecting your finances and your information in our Learning & Planning section.