By: Advocate Brokerage
This week over 143 million people were affected by a data breach at Equifax. If you have not already, it is important to find out if you have been affected. How? Head to the Equifax Trusted ID Website and find out. Here is the link:
What to do if you’ve been affected
So you went to the Equifax Trusted ID Website and entered your information and found that you may have been impacted by the incident. What now?
Well the first thing you can do is to put a freeze alert on your credit. Currently Equifax is offering this service for free. While there were questions raised about the language of their fine print stating that it would make you ineligible for a class action lawsuit should you sign up for this service, that has been clarified and signing up does NOT exempt you.
Next you need to pay attention to your credit report. You can have a service monitor your credit report on your behalf. This is another service that Equifax is offering for free for a year. You can also utilize a site like annualcreditreport.com to get a copy for free. Be sure that you review your credit report from all of the three major reporting agencies: Experian, Transunion and Equifax.
Finally, start to look for warning signs of Identity Theft. Many signs are quite obvious but we thought providing a list was still a good reminder for us all.
Identity Theft Warning Signs
If you find fraudulent activity, contact each of the credit agencies to dispute the item. You’ll also want to file an Identity Theft Report with the FTC. The contact information for all of these agencies is below:
Experian Fraud Center (888) 397-3742
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Alerts (888) 766-0008
Equifax Consumer Fraud Division
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Federal Trade Commission (866) 653-4261
600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington DC 20580
Tips to strengthen your cyber security
As was the case with the Equifax breach and countless others in recent years, hacks sometimes happen through no fault of your own. Even so, it is in your best interest to do all you can to protect yourself and your information.
Below are some things you can do on your own:
Do you have adequate coverage?
You’ve been careful to protect your home and automobile. You’ve added an extra layer of protection with an Umbrella policy so that if you find yourself facing a lawsuit, you are covered.
But is it enough? Below are some things to consider:
If this list makes you wonder if you will be covered if you are victimized, please give us a call. Most of the companies we represent include identity fraud coverage on your personal policies. If you are a business owner, many of our companies offer Data Breach coverage as part of their policies but the coverage is often far from adequate.
Cyber Crime…let me count the ways
Smart phones, laptops, and home computers are not the only devices vulnerable to a hack. Technologies designed to help home and business owners, like security systems, garage door openers, and flow based systems of water leak protection are also susceptible to cyber attacks. Even your Nest thermostat can be a threat if it is disabled and a sudden temperature drop causes damage to your home and personal property.
There a many different ways that cyber security affect our daily lives. That why it is so important to be sure that you have adequate protection from the potential financial damage that could occur. If you would like to speak with us regarding the increasingly important topic of Cyber Security give us a call at 914-723-7100. We can discuss your concerns and help you find a solution for your specific needs.