Watch the segment online HERE.
The Equifax breach is a major event. Because so many files were compromised, just assume you are at risk. What can you do?
Check your credit report! For many clients who have expressly given us permission, we request copies of each credit report be mailed to them annually. We do the work to get the report in your hands. You'll just need to look it over and watch for anything unusual.
Consider signing up for credit monitoring. This won't prevent identity theft, but it will alert you immediately. Equifax is offering one year of their free credit monitoring service, TrustedID Premier. This allows you unlimited Equifax credit reports, identity theft insurance and other benefits. Use this link: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/.
Finally, consider freezing your credit. This is a surefire protection, but it can be inconvenient. This process prevents new credit inquiries and stymies even some legitimate identity verifications. You'll have a PIN to unfreeze your credit if something comes up. You will need to do this process for each individual, with each credit agency. The links are EQUIFAX FREEZE, EXPERIAN FREEZE and TRANSUNION FREEZE. There may be a small fee (about $10) to do this. Know that everyone else is trying to do the same thing, so expect online glitches and busy phone lines. Be patient! I tried this morning to place a freeze at all three agencies online for myself with no luck.
And what should you NOT worry about?
Your bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts should be fine. There are built-in protections on these. Still, pay attention to transactions.
Your existing credit accounts should also be secure. See above about paying attention.
If you have other questions, give us a call. We are monitoring developments and can help you navigate the process if someone tries to "make off" with your identity. I'm reminded of my grandmother's favorite verse, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches..." In this case, thieves can gain great riches by using your good name. Protect it!