Identity Theft Protection

Are you STILL risking identity theft?

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Financial Tip of the Day

Did you do a credit freeze to protect yourself yet? Last year I did a credit freeze with all 3 bureaus after I found out about the Equifax data breach.

This piece tells you what you need to know to freeze your credit, "Credit freezes will be free, thanks to banking deregulation law and Equifax changes."

If you haven’t done so yet, set aside 20-30 minutes over the long holiday weekend to do this.

ESPECIALLY if your information was definitely hacked. Check here to see if your information is “out there” vulnerable: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

The longer you wait, the more your personal and financial data is at risk.

There is NO excuse for putting it off, because almost all of us WILL have the time to do it over the long weekend.

No, it’s not fun. But the FEW minutes you spend protecting your money and identity doesn’t compare to the long-term devastation that identity theft causes.

And you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy yourself this weekend. Peace of mind is worth it to me. What about you?

4 Tips to Deal with the Equifax Breach (and Others That Follow)

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Financial Tip of the Day

I heard about the Equifax breach yesterday and sighed. It can get downright frustrating and discouraging to work so hard to build good credit and a good credit score, and then find out that hackers may be able to destroy all your hard work in minutes. But no matter how disturbing and frightening this news is, it only strengthens my resolve to protect my own personal information. Even if Equifax apparently doesn’t care to do so. According to the NY Times: "Equifax Says Cyberattack May Have Affected 143 Million Customers" - this is their 3rd major security breach within 2 years. Here are 4 tips to further protect yourself from identity theft:

1)      Equifax is providing free 3-Bureau credit monitoring services to ALL consumer for 1 year at  https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. Take advantage of this by following their steps to enroll – deadline to enroll is November 21, 2017.

2)      In the meantime - or in addition to this service - check 2 of your credit reports regularly using Credit Karma (which is free) or a similar site. Also, visit AnnnualCreditReport.com to review all 3 credit reports (12 months from when you last ordered each one) to see if any new accounts have been opened without your knowledge.

3)      Check your financial accounts frequently and regularly. I monitor all of mine daily. However, if you’re not able to do that, I suggest doing so weekly. Apps like Mint.com allow you to access all accounts and balances in one place.

4)      Consider doing a “credit freeze” with each of the credit bureaus. Just keep in mind, if you decide to apply for new credit, you’ll need to notify the bureaus ahead of time to ask them to temporarily remove the freeze and to put it back on afterwards. Read more about it here: Credit Freeze FAQs. Or as mentioned in the NY Times piece above, you can also request Fraud Alerts from any of the 3 bureaus.