Tips to secure your credit info. after Equifax breach

'Your financial information could all be exposed'

READING, Pa. - Are you concerned for the safety and security of your credit information as the fallout from the Equifax breach continues?

Bonnie Rohde, a professor of information systems management at Albright College in Reading, said one in two Americans may have been impacted by the Equifax breach.

"That means that your social security number, your birthday, your financial information could all be exposed," said Rohde.

What can you do right now to help secure your finances? Be it your bank account information, stock trading website or anywhere your Social Security number is stored, change your login information and security questions immediately.

"If you have any account where you use your social security number as a login, you should change it," Rohde recommended.

Rohde said it's overkill to freeze your credit, but she recommended updating your credit notification alerts.

"If someone takes out a credit card in your name, if someone is searching your name, it sends out a notification."

Finally, she recommended signing up for identity theft protection. It's different from credit monitoring. Companies like IdentityForce and Lifelock can help block hacking attempts.

Rohde said free credit monitoring companies are becoming a necessary evil.

"The trouble is they're all getting it from the same reporting agencies. The big three. TransUnion, Experion, and Equifax, so they're monopolies," she said.

What can companies do in the future to prevent hacks?

"There's a process to take patches, when you follow security protocol, take patches. Test them first to make sure the website wouldn't affect the consumer experience," she said.

The Equifax website is currently offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection, but Rohde said she doesn't trust the website and recommends that you should avoid it completely. She recommended using TransUnion and Experian.

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