If your personal identifying information was compromised as part of the recent Equifax data breach, you are in good company: The breach impacted about half the U.S. population, including me. (You can check here.)
- Take advantage of free credit monitoring from Equifax. Criminals can use the breached information to open new loan or deposit accounts. The service will help you monitor for nefarious activity and get fraudulent accounts shut down. When you sign up, check the report carefully for accuracy. (UPDATE: Be sure to read all the terms & conditions before you sign up, and exercise caution in sharing any personal information in the online process.)
- Monitor your existing accounts for unauthorized activity. I use mobile apps to check my banking and credit accounts daily to verify transactions.
- Sign up for account alerts. Most financial institutions will notify you of unusual activity on your accounts.
- Take quick action, if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Contact your bank or credit card company as soon as you suspect fraudulent activity on your account.
- Update your contact information. Make sure your bank and other financial institutions have your correct phone numbers, email addresses and mailing address to contact you in the event of suspicious account activity.
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