Mass cyber breaches, like the recent Equifax security breach, can be intimidating and alarming. In this week’s cyber security tip, we provide tips for users affected by commercial cyber breaches.
In situations like the Equifax cyber breach, it is best to follow the news and recommendations from the organization affected. However, there are a few additional things that you can do to better protect your credit score and your online identity.
- One tip is to establish a credit freeze with all four credit agencies – Equifax, Transunion, Experian and Innovis. By initiating a credit freeze, or security freeze, you will restrict access to your credit report, making it more difficult for identity thieves to open up new accounts in your name. A credit freeze does not impact your credit score. You may simply contact each credit reporting company to establish the freeze. Sometimes there is a fee for this service, but it is usually $10 or less.
- You also should regularly monitor your credit and your online banking accounts to ensure their security.
- Regularly change your passwords, and, if it is offered, use two-factor authentication. Many banking and investing websites have employed two-factor authentication to better protect their users.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. OIT will be posting cyber safety tips throughout the month. For more information about Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit the National Cyber Security Alliance’s website https://staysafeonline.org.