Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is urging people to continuously monitor their credit report in light of the recent Equifax data breach where more than 143 million people's personal information has been exposed.
“Even before this Equifax breach, more than six billion records have been stolen through data breaches in 2017, already surpassing the number for all of 2016,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “It is important for consumers to monitor their credit and track all of their personal banking information throughout the year and not just when data breaches occur.”
BBB offers the following tips to those who suspect their personal information has been compromised by a data breach:
For the recent Equifax breach, check to see if your information was potentially exposed through a website set up by Experian at equifaxsecurity2017.com.
Consider freezing your credit reports. It will stop thieves from creating new fraudulent accounts under your name. Your existing credit cards and other accounts will not be impacted.
Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, as this provides an extra layer of protection and would make it difficult for an identity thief to open an account in your name Fraud alerts are free and stay on your report for 90 days.
Change your passwords. Strong passwords that are regularly changed are a must for account protection.
Read the “IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft” for information related to data breaches and your federal taxes.
Regularly check your credit reports at annualcreditreport.com and watch for signs of fraud. (This is the only FTC-authorized free credit report site.)