Its clear that the Equifax breach is a big deal due to the type of information exposed. Here are some simple things you can do to protect yourself, and protect your business at the same time.
Protect Your Email
Your email account is arguably your most important account. If someone gets into your account (due to a weak password, or a password you’re reusing on multiple sites) they can then access sites you use like your bank, social media, Amazon, and others by triggering password resets (which will be sent to your email account they have control of!). What to do: Make sure you have a LONG password on your email account, and turn on Two-Factor Authentication if possible to prevent unauthorized access if your password is compromised. Our team can help ensure your email accounts are protected.
Turn on a Fraud Alert
Each of the credit bureaus have a free process for turning on a fraud alert. If someone tries to apply for credit in your name, the credit issuing company must verify your identity before issuing credit. An initial fraud alert lasts 90 days and can be renewed. I’ve found that Experian has a simple, quick way of turning on a fraud alert. Experian is required to also notify the bureaus on your behalf to turn on fraud alerts for their files also. Click HERE to visit the Experian fraud alert page, and scroll down to the bottom to enroll w/o the need for a credit report #.
Secure Your Cell Phone #
Your cell phone # (and the text messages you receive) are some of the most important “keys” to your digital life. If a hacker takes over your cellular #, that means any security verification messages will go to the hacker, making account takeovers sipmle. Inc.com has a great article that talks about this. What to do: Contact your cellular carrier and request they put a Security PIN on your account that must be used before making any account changes. (Including assigning your phone # to another phone)
Use a Password Management Tool
You’ve got to stop re-using the same password everywhere. The only way to do that is to start using a password management tool like Lastpass.com to securely keep track of them for you. We help our clients implement Lastpass on an individual basis, and company-wide.
If you ever have questions on any of these topics, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 612-279-2400.