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Steps to take after another major data breach

September 8, 2017

Equifax just reported that they had a data breach that exposed records for 143 million Americans. Here's what you can you do to protect yourself.

Equifax set up a website with details of the breach. You can enroll in free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services. You can also find out if you are among the millions of people whose data has been exposed.

Equifax is reporting no evidence of unauthorized access to core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases at this time.  But, when these breaches happen, it's a good time to remember how to protect yourself and stay cyber secure.

Ways to be more cyber secure

First, use a strong and unique password for every site or account that you use.  Never include any personal information as part of your password. This includes your social security number, name, and date of birth. What's the best way to create super complex and different passwords for every one of your logins? Try using a password manager, like LastPass or 1Password. There are free options available for each.

Second, set up two-step verification on any of your accounts that offer the service. This is also known as multi-factor authentication or two-factor authentication. Two-step is particularly important on banking and personal finances, and social media and email accounts (which are frequent targets). The Two Factor Auth (2FA website will check to see if you have this option from the companies you use.

Third, don't respond to any emails that you aren't sure are legit (phishing).  Don't click through on any links in an email if you notice:

  • misspellings
  • URLs that just don't look right, or
  • there is a sense of urgency to try to get you to act now.

Instead of clicking through, report the email as suspicious to your service provider.

Are you worried that you may have been a victim of identity theft? Report it right away.