There is no need to obtain new credit cards but you should go through your credit report and check for suspicious activity. You can get a free credit report from one of the three credit bureaus. When checking the credit report, you should check for error records such as account that you don’t remember opening, suspicious charges, and etc. If you notice any suspicious activity, you should contact the credit card company and ask them to temporarily suspend your account. It is important to report the suspicious activity as soon as you found out about it so that they will not hold you responsible for the fraud charges.
If there is no suspicious activity on the credit report, you should continue to remain vigilant. If you feel insecure, you can freeze your credit. If you want to unfreeze your credit later, you will have to provide a PIN. You need to contact the credit bureau if you want to freeze your credit. The staff at the credit bureau can immediately freeze your account after you make the request. In case you forget about the PIN, you should have it written down on a piece of paper. It is completely free to freeze your credit. Freezing your credit can reduce the chances of being the victim of an identity theft by 5%.
Another way to protect your credit is to set a fraud alert. The fraud alert will prompt the credit card company to carry out a verification process to verify the identity when you want to open a new account. This can prevent someone from imposing as you and using your identity to open a new account. You also have to contact the hotline number of the credit bureau to set the fraud alert. You can find the hotline number of the credit bureau at their official site. The fraud alert need to be renew every 90 days. You can sign up for the credit monitoring service that Equifax is offering for one year.
You should also tell your friends about the aforementioned tips on how to protect their credit. This is because someone may not know about the news that Equifax was recently hacked. If you know someone elderly, you can take the necessary steps to protect their credit. Besides, you should also keep an eye for the tax season. It is a well known strategy for identity thieves to steal SSN for use in filling fraudulent tax returns so that they can get some refund from the tax money. It is advised that you file your tax early. Filing the tax early will be able to prevent identity thefts from taking the action to file a fraudulent income tax.