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Oct 24, 2017

Fight the Equifax Data Breach with Free Credit Reports

As you may know, the Equifax consumer credit reporting agency experienced a data breach in 2017.  Criminals gained access to a long list of data related to 145.5 million U.S. consumers.  The data the thieves accessed included critically personal information such as Social Security Numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers and more.  It’s all the information a cyber-criminal would need to cause a great deal of trouble for the affected consumers.

Fight Back Against Cyber-Criminals

Equifax is offering anyone with a U.S. Social Security Number a free year of credit monitoring.  It’s a good idea to take advantage of that offer.

Another important issue to consider is that very often, cyber-criminals will hold on to stolen data without using or selling it for one year.  The criminals know that people are taking advantage of free credit monitoring, and they’re smart enough to avoid getting caught during that time period.

Annual Free Credit Reports Will Help Protect You

In addition to Equifax, there are two other consumer credit reporting agencies, Experian and TransUnion.  It’s always been a good idea to review your credit reports from all three agencies each year, but it’s even more critical given the Equifax data breach.  In addition, Federal law allows you to get a free copy of your credit report from each agency once every 12 months.

One of the easiest ways to get your free credit report is to visit AnnualCreditReport.com. The site is set up to ask a series of questions to verify your identity; therefore, it’s very secure.  Review each of the reports to ensure that you recognize all the accounts and activity.  If you find problems, get more information on how to correct them by visiting IdentityTheft.gov.  Besides reviewing your credit reports regularly, give extra attention to examining your credit card and banking statements.  Attacks on those accounts may not be reflected on a credit report.

Protecting your financial health is an important part of protecting your financial future.

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