In 2017 Equifax was breached and lost over 143,000,000 data files on people that have nothing much to say or do about it. Same goes for Target when their data was breached that affected 41,000,000. You may not be aware of the IRS breach that also occurred where 700,000 social security numbers and other sensitive information was stolen. In total for just these three incidences, that’s over 184,700,000 Credit Files that are or will be in GREAT Danger. So what will happen to all these records and what can you or SHOULD YOU do to protect yourself.
If you have not had any incidence of credit fraud YET, don’t think your one of the lucky ones who wasn’t affected. Lets put it in a manner that might make sense on why nothing has happened to you so far. If you robbed a bank, would you go out the next day and deposit it in the bank and also buy a new home, yacht and a Ferrari? Probably not. If you were a profession at this most likely you would put the money aside until things cooled down and then began to use the money in a low profile manner. Well, guess what, these organizations who are hacking are professionals and are doing just that. They HAVE YOUR DATA and they will use it. The only question is WHEN?
Most of us are concerned about the risk but on average only 19% are doing anything about it. Most of them stated they are “not too concerned” or “not at all concerned”.
We have been told go to the internet and see if your information is posted on THE BLACK WEB. Millions rushed to do this to only find out that the website that they went to was just another HACK JOB created by these organizations conducting the HACKS and they were able to get hundreds if not thousands of new victims.
What NOT TO DO:
- Do not check the BLACK WEB: First, the site may not be the REAL SITE that was created to check your data. Second, Equifax already compromised your information so why would you want to get them involved again?
- DO NOT use any company that backs Equifax. Equifax profits grew by 20% in 2017. HOW? The companies they promote for you to use for the monitoring get their data from (GUESS WHO) Equifax and they pay them a fee for this.
- NOTHING: Doing NOTHING will only cost you down the road.
What TO DO:
- Get a copy of ALL of your credit reports and make sure there are no accounts on there that you are not aware of. MyFico is my #1 choice when I am asked to recommend a Credit Company. Check our my previous BLOG on WHY.
- Monitor your credit with a monitoring system (NOT ONE FROM EQUIFAX) My CHOICE in this area would be Credit Sesame: They offer credit Monitoring, Alerts and $1,000,000 in Theft Insurance.
- Place a FREEZE on your credit.
- Set ALERTS on your credit so you are notified if anyone issues a credit card or any other form of credit using your sensitive information. My CHOICE once again would be Credit Sesame.
- During the Credit reviewing process you may find information that is inaccurate, need help to figure out how to read the report, have old information that if removed could substantially increase your credit scores. I would recommend a company that does all of this and more. Credit Saint is an AAA-rated Credit counseling company that is there to help.