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Protection after the Equifax hack

In the wake of the recent Equifax data breach, said to have impacted 143 million people, experts have offered valuable tips for consumers who might have been compromised. We urge all readers to consider how they can avoid impact:

—Report any suspicious activity to your bank or credit card company right away. Any delay in reporting the fraudulent activity could make it harder for you to get that money back.

—Check your credit report periodically and be sure to dispute any information that is not accurate.

—Put a credit freeze on your credit report. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, which makes it much more difficult for criminals to open false accounts in your name. However, placing such a freeze should be considered carefully since the lead time needed to unfreeze it may be significant.

—Consider two-factor authentication when using financial services online. For most two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, users receive a security code via their phone or mobile device that must be entered in addition to a password.

—Avoid unsolicited emails that seek even more personal information or financial data. Following a large-scale data breach, scammers may attempt to steal a consumer’s identity or access bank accounts by sending out fake notices.

—Staff and AP Contribution