Originally posted to BBB.org
Here are tips from the BBB on how to protect yourself from a data breach:
-Monitor your accounts regularly. Check every charge on your statements. Scammers often test cards with smaller charges before racking up large bills. Confirm each charge on your account line by line.
-Call your bank: Tell them you were a customer at the breached institution. If your card was affected, the bank might contact you first to issue a new card.
-Sign up for alerts: Most banks allow customers to set email or text alerts for transactions over a set value. Notifications make it easier to keep tabs on your account.
-Accept or enroll in free identity protection services that breached companies offer you. This has become standard practice among breached companies.
-Request a 90-day fraud alert: If your Social Security number was stolen in a breach, ask the credit bureaus to put a note on your file so creditors know to further verify the identity of any individual who attempts to open new accounts or take other actions under your name. Notify one of the three major bureaus — Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion, and it will tell the others. This is not as effective as a security freeze.
-Get a security freeze: A freeze will put your information on lockdown, meaning the credit bureaus can’t give it out without your permission. In the event that your Social Security number was stolen, it’s another worthwhile precaution. A security freeze will not impact your credit score or impair your ability to use your existing credit cards. It locks down your credit reports that are used to determine your credit worthiness. When on a freeze, opening new credit will require some minimal advanced planning. To be effective, a freeze must be set up with all three credit bureaus. Experian: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html; Transunion https://freeze.transunion.com; Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com.
-Check your credit report – for free – up to three times a year (once from each credit reporting agency) at annualcreditreport.com.
Questions? Contact Kathy@agent-link.net