By now, I am sure you are aware we have experienced one of the most significant identity theft breaches our country has ever seen. Stolen information includes names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. This type of information has no expiration date and will affect you and your family members for a lifetime.
On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that 143 million people had their identities compromised between May and July of this year. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if you have a credit report, there’s a “good chance” you’re one of the 143 million Americans impacted.
Even though the Equifax data breach may be the largest data breach on record, it definitely is NOT the only data breach on record. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports 1,091 cases in 2016 and 1,002 cases in the first half of 2017 ALONE! This Equifax data breach is just a harsh reminder that forces beyond our control can lead to the exposure of our personal information AND that everyone needs identity theft protection.
In response to the Equifax data breach, Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring. However, please know the solution Equifax is offering is their own product called TrustedID. Can you trust Equifax to provide minimum credit monitoring for free if they couldn’t protect your sensitive records in the first place? I highly recommend you DO NOT enroll with TrustedID, as it may give you a false sense of security.
In the following short video, Morgan Wright, US State Department, Senior Anti-Terrorism Advisor, talks about the significance of this breach, why you shouldn’t use TrustedID, and why he has selected IDShield (the service we provide) as the service of choice to handle identity theft.
This is a stressful time for many of you knowing that your personal information will be bought, sold and traded, but we’re here to help. Our members have access to our dedicated and experienced licensed private investigators to ask questions and get help if they become victims of fraud. Our members also have pro-active credit monitoring through EXPERIAN (NOT Equifax!) and are alerted if there are any changes to their credit report.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Here are steps ANYONE can take to provide an extra layer of security:
- Set up a FRAUD alert with one of the main bureaus. If you place the alert with 1 bureau, it will ensure it’s placed with the other bureaus as well.
- Be diligent with your information. Don’t give out your personal information.
- Change your passwords. (IDShield Members can use IDShield Vault password manager to generate a new strong password.)
- If you don’t have IDShield yet, this is a great time to sign up for comprehensive identity protection with full service, white-glove restoration.
With over 2,000 data breach cases documented in the past 1 1/2 years, together with the largest known data breach in US history revealed to us just 2 weeks ago, isn’t it reasonable to believe pieces of your personal identity may have been exposed? If your stolen data is used to get a fake ID, file a false tax return, or commit a crime, it could take up to 18 months or more to resolve, and you may need to take time off from work to deal with this issue.
Be proactive! Protect you and your family with IDShield, a comprehensive identity theft plan that provides access to licensed private investigators, credit monitoring, social media monitoring and more for as little as $9.95 a month. Visit www.kerezman.com for additional information and to enroll TODAY! Text me at (574) 215.5505 if you are interested in offering identity theft protection to employee groups at discounted rates.