Equifax Data Breach
As you may be aware Equifax, one of the three largest credit agencies in the United States, announced a cybersecurity breach that could potentially impact 143 million U.S. consumers. Does that mean your information has been compromised? Although we would love to say no, it’s been reported that 6 of 10 Americans are likely to have been affected. Here is what we know, and ways you can protect yourself.
- This is NOT a breach of NexTier Bank data or systems. NexTier Bank is committed to keeping your information secure and will continue to monitor customer accounts for suspicious activity.
- If you have specific questions about the Equifax breach and whether you have been impacted, please contact Equifax directly.
- Do not assume that since you have not dealt directly with Equifax that your information is not at risk. It is best to assume that it is and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.
Prevention and diligence are your best defense.
Below are some basic tips to be proactive in protecting your information and identity:
- Check your credit report regularly. You can access a free credit report annually at AnnualCreditReport.com. Pay close attention to credit inquiries appearing on your report and confirm that any inquiries were initiated by you. Credit monitoring services are available through a number of sources….just be sure to check the validity of the service before signing up.
- Sign up for fraud alerts, which warn current and prospective lenders that they must make a reasonable attempt to confirm your identity before offering credit – you can do this with all three of the credit bureaus. Equifax 1-800-525-6285, TransUnion 1-800-680-7289, Experian 1-888-397-3742.
- Freeze Your Credit - when freezing your credit lenders, credit card companies, and other financial institutions will not be able to obtain your report. This does not mean that you can no longer apply for credit, but it does make the process more difficult.
- Activate Two- Factor Authentication when possible.
- Click the button, below, to sign up for Visa Alerts. NexTier offers this free service, which notifies you when your check card is used for any transactions.
- Secure your mobile devices. In this day and age, our mobile phones store a lot more than family and friends’ phone numbers. Make sure that your phone is protected by passwords, and/or fingerprints, when available, especially if you store or access any financial information with your phone.
You are the first line of defense when combating and reducing identify fraud. In this digital age, being prepared and monitoring your accounts will help you keep your financial and personal information safe.