Protect your personal information
Last month, Equifax disclosed that it was hacked earlier this year – 143 million U.S. consumers’ personal information was compromised. After a slow and incomplete response from Equifax, many of our members are wondering what – if anything – they can do to protect themselves.
Here are six tangible things you can do to protect your personal information in the aftermath of this significant security breach:
Find out if your information was exposed. Visit Equifax’s website and enter your last name and last six digits of your Social Security Number. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by the data breach.
Enroll for a free year of credit monitoring. Regardless of whether your information was exposed, U.S. Equifax consumers are eligible for a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until Nov. 21, 2017 to enroll.
Review your free credit reports. Contact each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and request a copy of your report. By law, you are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of these companies through www.annualcreditreport.com.
Monitor your accounts for unusual activity. Credit inquiries from companies you’ve never contacted, accounts you didn’t open and incorrect personal information are all potential signs of fraud or identity theft.
Consider activating a fraud alert. This will require creditors to verify your identity before issuing a credit card, opening a new account or increasing a credit limit on an existing account.
Consider a credit freeze. A credit freeze will make it difficult for someone to open a new account in your name.
If you have additional questions, please call our Member Service Center at (800) 877-8328.
Other important resources
Balance is a trusted partner of Travis Credit Union and offers a variety of free educational resources.