In the wake of the hack of credit reporting agency Equifax, many people have suggested that affected consumers implement credit freezes to prevent the misuse of their sensitive personal data. "People already have out-of-pocket damages for additional credit monitoring and for credit freezes".
Despite the security shortcoming, consumers are still advised to place a credit freeze on their accounts if they believe they may be at risk.
The revelations of a security breach at Equifax should come as no surprise to anyone.
Everyone should regularly review their credit files.
Small business operators added their own complaint to the mix Tuesday, with a class action in Atlanta federal court alleging the breach could cripple access to small business credit by damaging the linked credit of the individual who owns the enterprise. The FTC site can guide you through the recovery process with a plan suited to your situation, including placement of fraud alerts and notification of the identity theft with the credit bureaus. The data include Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and birthdates - the very information we are told to guard with our financial lives.
Undoubtedly, numerous affected individuals make their living within the world of promotional products, and those owners" needs require protection, a point that the legal document filed by The Doss Firm LLC addressed by stating, "This is a real double whammy situation for small business owners whose access to credit can often live or die in terms of their personal creditworthiness. You can request free credit reports from all of the major organizations in one place using AnnualCreditReports' online system.
- A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
In order to freeze your credit, you must contact all three credit bureaus.
As you can see in the screenshot above, Equifax is offering any of its customers (whether affected or not) free identity protection for a year under the TrustedID Premier platform.
Each bureau asks for you name, DOB, address, former address and social security number.
After you successfully freeze your credit history in all three credit bureaus, each bureau will give you a pin number.
You'll then go to the website of the credit reporting company you select.
Only Prevents Unauthorized Attempts to Open New Accounts: Does not prevent unauthorized use of active accounts, such as credit cards.
Retain Control Over Your Credit: Does not impact your ability to access your own credit.
Democrat Ron Wyden of OR has just introduced the Free Credit Freeze Act in the wake of the Equifax breach.
May Not Provide Certainty: "Dark web" sites are constantly changing, so scanning services can not provide absolute assurance whether your data is being sold. What is certain, however, is that the breach exposed the highly personal data of as many as 143 million Americans. Whether Equifax was the one to leak your data becomes irrelevant.
Potentially High Burden: Filing early may be inconvenient or infeasible for some taxpayers. Even though there's been 791 data breaches so far in 2016, Eva Velasquez, the CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center said the Equifax breach increases your chances of being a victim, because of the information that was obtained.