A few weeks ago, Equifax announced that a data breach had compromised the personal information of millions of people in America. In the time since, many have expressed concern over the safety of their personal identity, and rightfully so. For those who were affected by the breach, protecting their identity should be a top priority moving forward. Of course, many are unsure of how to do so, especially since Equifax mistakenly sent Twitter users to a fake website after the breach.
So, what steps can consumers take to protect their sensitive information? Our Miami consumer protection attorneys have some tips.
Precautions to Take
First things first, the best approach is to assume that your data was among the stolen information — even if you are told otherwise. As the popular saying goes, it is better to be safe than to be sorry. This means that moving forward you should practice extreme caution regarding your identity and financial information. Here are steps to consider taking:
- Freeze your credit with all three credit bureaus. Equifax has waved its fees for freezing credit, and the cost to do so with Experian and TransUnion is minimal.
- Change all your current passwords, using a different one for each account.
- File your taxes early next year to prevent someone else from filing them in your name.
- Set up fraud alerts on all of your current accounts.
At minimum, you should practice preventative behaviors if you were not already. This means watching your credit reports and bank statements closely for suspicious activity, shredding all documents with sensitive information, never inputing personal information on an unsafe website or network, and so on. Also, remember to be on the lookout for any credit inquiries which you did not request. Be sure to pay attention to your bills as well. If you are expecting a statement from your bank and do not receive it, it could mean that someone else has it.
If you are the victim of identity theft, you need the right team of Miami consumer protection attorneys on your side to keep the unfortunate event from causing damage to your financial future. At Graham Legal, protecting your rights is our top priority. Call us today to arrange for a free consultation so that we can begin seeking justice, together.