Equifax Data Breach - 3 Steps To Protect Yourself
What you can do about the Equifax data breach.
- Equifax set up a website, equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help you determine if your data was part of the hack (hint: it probably is). Equifax will be providing free credit monitoring to anyone affected. Whether you want to sign up with them after this hack, is up to you.
- Set up a fraud alert, for free, by calling one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. By law, the bureau you contact must share that alert with the other two bureaus. You only need to contact one. The FTC website explains how. An alert does not actually alert you personally! It puts some words on your credit file to inform credit grantors to contact you if anyone applies for credit in your name (including you). They aren't required by law to actually contact you, but most do.
- Add a security freeze on your credit file. You may have to pay for this. You must lift it temporarily when you apply for new credit. You have to individually call each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. You'll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10. The FTC has complete details on this.
Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
Experian — 1‑888‑397‑3742
TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872