Were you part of the Equifax Breach?
Most likely you are part of the breach. If you were not, then I would still recommend reading this, as you are probably part of another breach.
Equifax has your Social Security Numbers, Birth date, current and past addresses, credit card numbers, and some drivers license numbers.
If this sounds bad, it really is.
What should I do?
First off, go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on Check Potential Impact tab. You will have to put in the last 6 digits of your social security number and your last name. It will tell you if your data was compromised.
Many professionals recommend you sign up for the year of free service. I have heard that this might limit your ability to sue. I am not a lawyer, so you will have to make that decision, but if you don’t sign up, I highly recommend you sign up with a credit monitoring service. The data they got isn’t going to be forgotten, so you will want to monitor your credit for years to come. Many banks and credit card companies will do this for a low cost.
You might also want to consider putting a fraud alert on your accounts. With the data that was stolen it would be easy for someone to open up a credit card in your name. If you sign up for Fraud Alert, this will make it much more difficult. You can find out more here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert
If you are not using two-factor authentication on your banks and personal email accounts, set it up now. Many of the questions they might ask you if you lost your password could be found in your credit report.
Finally, I highly recommend you use a password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, etc. That way you don’t have to remember all those different passwords you are going to have.
Going forward you will want to keep an eye on your credit. Checking it once a year will no longer be enough.