Equifax Data Breach - What You Need To Know (and do)

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A lot of folks have been asking me about the recent Equifax Data Breach so I thought I would take a moment to go over a few things you should know.  

More than 143 million people are potentially impacted by this breach so chances are pretty high that you are vulnerable.

The first thing you need to do is to go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. This is the secure website set up by Equifax for you to check for potential personal impact. Once you are there, you'll be asked to enter your name and last 6 digits of your Social Security Number to verify if your data may have been part of the breach. You'll get an answer right away. For couples, one person may be impacted while the other may not be so don't just check for one of you and assume that's all you need to do.

Next, you should sign up for Equifax's TrustedID Premier. Even if you weren't impacted, you will be prompted to sign up. It's being offered to you at no cost. This program will provide you with 

*$1M in ID Theft Protection
*Credit monitoring from all 3 agencies
*Current credit report
*Equifax credit lock
*Social Security Number scanning

If you aren't comfortable using the free identity theft protection with Equifax (totally understand) then check out:

lifelock.com or zanderins.com.

You may also want to consider a credit freeze on your credit report.  It costs just a few dollars but will be able to prevent anyone including you from getting any type of credit while it is frozen.  You can unfreeze it at any time for a small fee.  This just makes for certain no accounts are opened in your name.

Privacy breaches can be a scary thing but the best thing you can do is to measure your impact early on and then take the necessary steps to get protected. Once you receive your credit report, go ahead and review it for any new accounts opened that you did not initiate or activity that does not belong to you and then report it. 

Your credit is an important piece of your financial health so make sure to take care of it!