The recently reported data breach at Equifax, which included the social security numbers, birth dates, driver license numbers and addresses affected 145 million people, which means the odds of your data being out there are high. Any time you use an online service that stores your name, a credit card number or other personal details, you are at some risk. But even though some experts say losing some of your data is probably inevitable, there are ways to protect yourself.
As U.S. News Money explains, the first step is guarding your identity in easy ways, such as not keeping your social security card in your wallet, shredding documents with financial details on them and changing your online passwords often. Next is monitoring your credit reports. If you see a jump in requests for increased credit or mysterious late payments, your identity could have been stolen. You can also set up fraud alerts, and freeze your credit for a small fee.
To help your readers/listeners/viewers understand the risks of identity theft, talk with your local police, your state's attorney general's office or the Better Business Bureau. They can talk about some of the current scams making the rounds, and offer tips to help protect your identity and your personal information.
Sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education
For more personal finance story ideas, click on the banner below:
Thema Ponton of WISN-TV entered the 2016 NEFE/RTDNA awards contest with a story about economic growth, job opportunities and strategies to improve job prospects in the state.