Stretch Your Dollar: Protecting your personal info from hackers

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(WTNH)– You may have never used Equifax or even heard of it. But the credit reporting agency could have a lot of your personal information and this summer it was hacked!

We are stretching your dollar with steps you should be taking to ensure your information is safe.

143 million Americans may be impacted by the hack on Equifax. Thieves stole names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers. Hackers also got more than 200,000 credit card numbers and other documents containing personally identifying information. This kind of data is extremely valuable to cyber thieves.

If a cyber criminal maxed out a credit card in your name, it will be tough passing a credit check. Good luck getting a new cell phone, a student loan, a car or a mortgage. If someone gets a driver’s license in your name and runs a red light or gets a speeding ticket, you’re on the hook.

So what can you do?

Freeze your credit. It can be a pain. Because you’ll have to unfreeze it every time someone needs to run a credit check on you. But it should prevent most forms of identity theft spelled out in this report.

Regular credit monitoring is important. And online resources, including the identity theft resource center, provide excellent tools to discover how to defend yourself against identity theft.

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