Equifax Data Breach

You’re probably well aware of the recent Equifax Breach. Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies so the breach is unfortunate to say the least.

In response, a website was set up to find out if your information was exposed. You can visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on Potential Impact, follow the simple instructions and see if you’ve been impacted.

Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring, a credit report, social security number monitoring and $1 million in identity theft insurance for those who register. Yours truly was impacted and I’ve registered for the service.

We do suggest you consider taking some other steps to protect your identity.

  • Get free credit reports. This is free and available annually by visiting  www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Consider a credit monitoring service like IdentityGuard or LifeLock.
  • Consider placing a freeze on your credit. This is something I’ve recommended often. If you aren’t applying for credit often then why not have it frozen? This will protect you from anyone open accounts using your credit and there is no downside. It doesn’t harm your credit rating or score and is very inexpensive to set up. To learn more, you can visit this Federal Trade Commission site.
  • Be wary of sharing your data! The IRS or a financial institution will never call you asking for your personal information. Be wary of calls or emails asking for personal information.
  • Build strong passwords. We are fans of using a password manager with two factor authentication like Lastpass.

If you are a victim of fraud, don’t panic! You generally are not liable for financial loss (fraudulent bank debits or unauthorized credit charges) when you are a fraud victim but it is important to report any such instance immediately. Here is a good site to visit if you’d like to learn more.

If you have questions any questions or input on identity protection, we would love to hear from you.

 

About Michael McGinley, CFP®, AIF®

Michael McGinley has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years. He is currently a partner at Providus Advisors, an investment advisory firm located in Chandler, AZ.

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