Client Service Associate
Warren Street Wealth Advisors
By now you’ve probably heard about the massive Equifax security breach. It potentially affected 143 million Americans (over a third of our population), so it is likely that you or someone in your household has been impacted. Security breaches like these have become a common threat to our society and the big takeaway from this Equifax fiasco is that it can happen again.
What steps should you take now:
Specific to the Equifax breach: you can start by checking directly with Equifax. Whether your information was hacked or not, Equifax is giving all Americans the opportunity to enroll in their TrustedID Premier credit monitoring system for free for one year. Initially, there were concerns about whether agreeing to this offer would waive your rights to be part of a prospective class action lawsuit against Equifax in the future, however, they have since confirmed that it will not. With TrustedID, you will get the following:
- Equifax Credit Report
- Equifax Credit Report Lock
- $1 M Identity Theft Insurance
- 3 Bureau Credit File Monitoring
- Social Security Number Monitoring
Tools beyond Equifax: You should monitor your credit beyond what Equifax has offered. You can get a free copy of your credit report from all three bureaus at annualcreditreport.com. We recommend clients pull a report from one bureau at a time, and then moving onto the next every four months. You may also consider other free online resources, like CreditKarma.com. Tools like Credit Karma bring together credit information in a more user-friendly format that get updated at least monthly.
Credit Freeze: This tool lets you restrict access to your credit report, which makes it more difficult for someone else to open new credit accounts in your name. Placing a credit freeze will only allow companies that you already do business with to have access to your information. You can read information from the Federal Trade Commision on credit freezes here.
Update Passwords: Regardless of whether you’re one of the consumers affected by this breach, it’s always a good idea to regularly update and strengthen your passwords and PIN numbers linked to your financial accounts.
Veronica Torres is an Investment Advisor Representative of Warren Street Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. The information posted here represents her opinions and is not meant as personal or actionable advice to any individual, corporation, or other entity. Any investments discussed carry unique risks and should be carefully considered and reviewed by you and your financial professional. Nothing in this commentary is a solicitation to buy, or sell, any securities, or an attempt to furnish personal investment advice. We may hold securities referenced in the blog and due to the static nature of content, those securities held may change over time and trades may be contrary to outdated posts.