Forgot Password?

Whether you realize it or not, information is floating around us constantly. It could be news or it could be the credit card number of a person in the coffee shop with you. Every time we log in to a website, or sign up for a newsletter, we are sending information. Information can fall into the wrong hands. You may accidentally provide it to a scammer, someone might steal it or someone might buy it from the dark web. If you use the internet as much as most Americans, chances are your personal information has been exposed.

You may have heard the term “data breach” or “data leak” on the news. You may have even heard about a significant one, such as the Capital One, Equifax or Marriott breaches. Unfortunately, these information leaks or hacks are becoming all too common. All of us have a credit file with Equifax and most of us have stayed at a Marriott property (they own much more than just the Marriott brand). So, there’s a very good chance that our information was leaked in one of these breaches. Maybe you got lucky and you weren’t a victim of these two leaks, but what about all of the others and the others to come? Eventually it will happen (if it hasn’t already) and most everyone will become a victim of identity theft. 

Monitoring and Recovery When Your Personal Information Has Been Exposed

Due to the likeliness that your personal information has been exposed, you need to be proactive in searching for possible fraudulent activity. Here are some tips on what to look for and what to do if you find something.

  • Monitor your financial accounts. In order to quickly spot identity theft, you need to monitor your financial accounts regularly (daily if possible). Your checking account, savings accounts and credit card statements need to be carefully monitored to spot anything unrecognizable. The faster you catch a discrepancy, the easier it is to remedy the situation.
  • Obtain and review your credit report. You can receive a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), once a year. So you should set a calendar reminder at three separate points in the year to obtain and review your credit report. For example, you could get TransUnion in March, Equifax in August and Experian in December. Once you obtain your report, you need to look for any suspicious activity. Any line of credit opened in your name will be listed. If you see something unrecognizable, contact the issuing institution immediately. You also should call the credit bureau you obtained the report from and request a credit freeze. A credit freeze will ensure that no lines of credit can be opened on your file without authorization from you. 
  • Sign up with an identity theft restoration service. If your identity is stolen (which we’ve said will most likely happen at some point), someone will have to put in the work to restore your identity. This can take hundreds of hours and cost thousands of dollars (on average). If you sign up with an identity theft restoration service such as ReclaimMyID, before you’re a victim, they will do all of the work to restore your identity. It will save you time and money. You’ll also have the peace of mind that someone has your back if you become a victim.

The internet is great, but it also has its downsides. You have the world’s information at your fingertips, but also your personal information has been exposed. Your information and your safety is important. Use these tips to your advantage for the inevitable day you will need them.  

A Free Guide on How To Secure Your Identity & Protect Your Data