As many as 145 million Americans, including 4 million people in Michigan, may have had their personal information compromised by the security breach at Equifax, one of the nation's largest credit bureaus.
According to creditcards.com, 61 million people have since checked their credit report. Industry Analyst Matt Schulz says that's not enough.
“Assume your personal information is already out there. That’s why it's important to take action to protect it.”
By going to the Equifax website, you can find out if you've been a victim of the breach. Most likely you are. "About one in three Americans said they didn't know anything about the Equifax breach and that's troubling because it's hard to act, if you don't know it happened."
People could have had their names, addresses and social security numbers, compromised. "It's important to check your credit after a breach because virtually every adult is protentionally impacted."
There are a few different ways to protect yourself. The most serious is to freeze your credit. But that can cause problems if you want to apply for a loan or credit card.
The easier route would be to sign up for a credit monitoring service or do it yourself. "Truth is, most monitoring you can do yourself for free. Doing that will let you know if there's been any fraudulent activity up to this point."
Schulz says you should check your credit report at least once a year. "This isn't something that's going away when this starts to recede from the headlines."
Equifax is offering free credit monitoring services. However, if you want to do it yourself, you can go to annual credit report for a free credit report.
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