Ouch – the Equifax breach. What I’m reading and doing.

tl;dr

Step 1 – Went to Equifax (also see below), checked both of us (not impacted (don’t really trust that)), signed up for monitoring, waiting to get email to finish the process (high volumes!)

Step 2  -Put temporary Fraud Alerts on our SSNs online (Experian – easy to use!).  Also see FTC article, below.

Step 3 – Have data security hygiene – I don’t give out information over the phone, email, or web, unless I call them at a number I trust (from verified website, phone number on statement, phone number on credit card) or go to their website (and from the ‘secure’ and green indicator on the browser address bar, know it’s not a spoof site).

Step 4  – Use a specific credit card for most non-routine web transactions that has a relatively low limit and I won’t have to change a bunch of auto-payments (get that 1.5% cash back!) if it’s breached.

Step 5 – Thing not to do (avoid a surprise!) – If you’re asked to pay for something on this breach, you’re probably on the wrong web page.  The Equifax check and monitoring are free and the Experian fraud alert is free.  (Remember TANSTAAFL – nothing is free.  This breach eats up your time and costs anxiety.)

I did not freeze credit reports, because I think that fraud alert will cover us.  YMMV.

Not tl;dr – read these:

Equifax:
https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

Experian fraud alert:
https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html

Credit report freeze info:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs#score

FTC info:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do

Wellsfargo comments on the breach:
https://www.wellsfargo.com/jump/enterprise/data-breach/

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