Equifax had a large breach last year that affected millions of Americans by exposing sensitive data like social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and more. Most people reacted by freezing their credit accounts.
After reading a few stories from subscribers, I think it's worthwhile to make this post to take proactive steps.
One subscriber mentioned how hackers are using the data from the Equifax breach. Apparently, one way is that hackers are trying to buy Apple products online through Barclays financing.
The subscriber received a rejection letter from Barclays because:
- unsecured revolving credit history too short
- too many inquiries last 12 months
- length of time accounts have been established
- lack of recent installment loan information
Ironically, having too many inquiries in the past 12 months was a positive thing since it led to a rejection and avoided helping the hacker.
How to Secure Your Accounts After the Equifax Hack
1. Create accounts for all three credit bureaus to claim your information
- Equifax: https://www.equifax.com/personal/
- Experian: https://www.experian.com/
- TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/
This makes it an extra step for hackers. Otherwise, they can create accounts for you and link it to their email address.
2. Log in to these accounts on a regular basis
Make it a routine to log in to your credit bureau accounts to make sure you still have access to them.
3. Set up an email filter for notifications
In your email settings, be sure to set up a filter that marks any emails from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and any other credit monitoring service as important.
I recommend using Credit Karma (or any alternatives) as a secondary way to monitor your credit activities.