Aug
01
2012

Actions to take after receiving a security breach notification

Dear Experian,

I work for a school district and its information has been hacked. They advised us to contact the credit companies. What I should do to protect myself? They are not sure how much information was stolen, and the hackers are threatening to release the information to the public. Please tell me what I need to do.

- AAD

Dear AAD,

The first thing you can do is add a 90 day initial security alert to your report. This will alert creditors that you may be a victim of identity theft. Simply click on the “Add an initial security alert now” link on the right side of the page and complete the form. The alert will be added automatically. Experian will notify the other national credit reporting companies to add an alert, as well.

You can request a free copy of you report and review it for any signs of fraud.

If you find evidence of credit fraud in your report, such as a lender you don’t know, you can file a police report and then add a victim statement. Instructions are provided in Experian’s online fraud center.

A victim statement remains in your credit report for seven years. It states that you are a victim of identity theft or fraud and asks that lenders contact you before granting credit in your name.

In many instances, the entity that suffered the data breach offers a free subscription to a credit monitoring service such as Experian’s ProtectMyId.com. Consider taking advantage of such an offer or personally subscribing to such a service. The monthly fee can be worth the peace of mind it brings until you are assured that you will not be victimized.

As a member of a monitoring service, you will receive a notice any time your credit report is accessed or when there is activity in the report that could be evidence of fraud. By receiving an early alert you can take action to stop the fraud and minimize the difficulties often associated with recovering from identity theft.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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