You’ve likely heard about the recent Equifax data breach, which is thought to affect nearly half of the country’s population. The breach at Equifax isn’t the first time sensitive personal information has been compromised, and unfortunately it won’t be the last. Data breaches and compromises are on the rise – so what do you do?
First, you should check with the company that suffered the breach - they may have instructions and offer free credit monitoring services. You can find more information about the Equifax breach here.
If you believe your social security number was breached, it’s also a good idea to notify the three major national credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – and ask to have a fraud alert placed on your credit report. A fraud alert requires creditors to verify your identity before approving any new credit. You can contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus at:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Monitor your credit report regularly following the loss. Every year you’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, and you can stagger those free reports so you have access to one every four months. You can access your free reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Check your credit report for any irregularities, including accounts you didn’t open, addresses or aliases you don’t recognize, or hard inquiries you didn’t initiate or permit.
If you’re particularly worried about becoming a victim of identity theft following the loss of your wallet, you may get some peace of mind by placing a security freeze.
It’s also a good idea to monitor your bank and credit card accounts closely following a breach. If you notice anything suspicious related to your Bank5 Connect accounts, please contact us immediately at 1-855-552-2655.