Equifax announced last week that their system was hacked back in July exposing 143 million US consumers information. This data breach will affect every American. When a data breach like this is announced, you need to be more vigilant than ever to protect your accounts and information.
Hackers tend to take advantage of major data breaches like this. Now is the time when you might start getting phishing emails disguised as Equifax or other supposed credit protection agencies. If you fall victim to one of the emails or phone calls you are putting yourself at risk.
Here are some actions you can take now to protect yourself:
Set Up 2 Factor Authentication
I know it may seem like a huge pain to have to grab your phone and enter the code when you access your accounts. But that’s entirely the point of 2-factor authentication. To make it hard for anyone who doesn’t have access to your phone to gain access to your account. Even if you do accidentally click on a malicious link from an email, 2-factor authentication will be set up to protect your account from being hacked.
Have Antivirus Running and Up to Date
When is the last time you checked to make sure your antivirus is up to date? Antivirus programs are something that most people have running in the background of their computer that they tend to forget about unless there is a problem. You need to make sure your antivirus program is 1) running, 2) up to date, and 3) a reliable program. You also need to make sure there are no threats sitting in your quarantine.
If you are running a business, find an IT company (like GetMorePC) to manage your antivirus. An IT company can ensure that your antivirus is running, up to date and your computers are staying clean.
If you have questions about which antivirus to use, we can help with that.
Keep Your Computer Operating System Updated
Those pesky Windows and Mac OS updates are there for a reason. It might be annoying to have to let your computer go through the update process and wait for the restart, but I promise the patches are well worth it to protect your system. Don’t skimp on the updates.
Do you have questions about installing OS updates? Give us a call.
Sign Up For An Identity Protection Program
There are several good identity protection programs out there. Equifax of course, is recommending that you sign up for their program. Anyone who has had their data breached through Equifax can use the Equifax service for free for a year.
Lifelock is another trusted identity protection program. Credit Karma is another credit monitoring program. It is advertised as being free.
Freeze Your Credit
A credit freeze essentially allows you to seal your credit reports and use a PIN number that only you know to temporarily allow legitimate applications for credit and services through. The cost to freeze your credits ranges from $3-10 per credit bureau.
You can freeze your credit at the following websites:
We are not taking this data breach lightly at GetMorePC. If you have any questions at all about how you can protect yourself please give us a call at 865-406-4015.