The Equifax data breach was revealed last Thursday- but many people who may be affected remain confused about what to do to protect themselves.
The cyberattack compromised the birth dates, social security numbers, addresses of 143 million people.
To find out if your information was compromised in the Equifax breach, go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
Besides diligently monitoring your bank and credit card accounts, you can sign up for fraud alerts, credit freezes or credit monitoring services.
The FTC recommends monitoring your credit reports from the three bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, at annualcreditreport.com, and consider placing a freeze on your credit files.
This will prevent new accounts from being opened without a PIN, but will not keep someone from making fraudulent charges to an existing account, according to the FTC.
Consumers will need to sign up for a credit freeze at each of the credit reporting agencies-
Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
Experian — 1 888 397 3742
TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872
However, due to high demand, consumers have been met with “temporarily unavailable” webpages and clogged phone lines.
There are three types of fraud alerts to consider, too.
An Initial Fraud Alert will protect your credit for at least 90 days.
An Extended Fraud Alert extends the protection for seven years.
An Active Duty Military Alert protects members of the military during deployment and lasts for one year.
To place one of these alerts on all of your credit files, consumers need to only contact one of the three credit bureaus, according to the FTC.