Equifax hack: Experts warn to act now to protect your credit

Posted: Updated:
HUNTINGTON -

Financial experts are warning that everyone should assume they are a victim of the Equifax data breach and should immediately take steps to protect their credit.

Equifax, one of the nation's largest credit data companies, announced last week that the credit files of nearly 150 million people had been hacked. Since then, confusion has erupted over the implications of the hack and exactly who is affected.

The stolen data includes Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses and even some driver’s license numbers.

Equifax has offered a year of credit monitoring for anyone who signs up. But certified financial planner Jon L. Ten Haagen says that's not enough, and recommends that consumers immediately sign up for a security freeze, or credit freeze, with the four major credit bureaus.

A credit freeze locks a person’s file from accepting any new credit approvals. Once their credit is frozen, people who want to apply for a mortgage, finance a car, or even rent an apartment must first unlock their credit report beforehand with a special PIN code assigned by each credit agency.

The process may seem like a hassle, but Ten Haagen says it's less of a hassle than trying to repair your credit once thieves start opening credit cards with your information.

"You've got to protect yourself and you've got to do it today. Don't wait a month or two to get around to it," Ten Haagen warns.

Equifax says its investigation into the data breach is ongoing.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Police: Pedestrian hit, killed by car in Commack

    Police: Pedestrian hit, killed by car in Commack

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:59 AM EDT2018-05-22 09:59:22 GMT
    According to police, a woman was crossing Commack Road between Delaware Avenue and Daly Road around 9 p.m. Monday when she was hit by a Cadillac.According to police, a woman was crossing Commack Road between Delaware Avenue and Daly Road around 9 p.m. Monday when she was hit by a Cadillac.
    According to police, a woman was crossing Commack Road between Delaware Avenue and Daly Road around 9 p.m. Monday when she was hit by a Cadillac.According to police, a woman was crossing Commack Road between Delaware Avenue and Daly Road around 9 p.m. Monday when she was hit by a Cadillac.

    According to police, a woman was crossing Commack Road between Delaware Avenue and Daly Road around 9 p.m. Monday when she was hit by a Cadillac.

    According to police, a woman was crossing Commack Road between Delaware Avenue and Daly Road around 9 p.m. Monday when she was hit by a Cadillac.

  • Mangano-Venditto jury enters day 3 of deliberations

    Mangano-Venditto jury enters day 3 of deliberations

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 9:04 AM EDT2018-05-22 13:04:36 GMT
    On Monday, a note indicated the jury can't agree on specific charges against Mangano and Venditto.On Monday, a note indicated the jury can't agree on specific charges against Mangano and Venditto.

    On Monday, a note indicated the jury can't agree on specific charges against Mangano and Venditto.

    On Monday, a note indicated the jury can't agree on specific charges against Mangano and Venditto.

  • Anti-Trump protests planned today ahead of president's visit

    Anti-Trump protests planned today ahead of president's visit

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 6:06 AM EDT2018-05-22 10:06:29 GMT
    On Wednesday, President Trump will attend an FBI forum in Bethpage focusing on MS-13 gang violence on Long Island.On Wednesday, President Trump will attend an FBI forum in Bethpage focusing on MS-13 gang violence on Long Island.
    On Wednesday, President Trump will attend an FBI forum in Bethpage focusing on MS-13 gang violence on Long Island.On Wednesday, President Trump will attend an FBI forum in Bethpage focusing on MS-13 gang violence on Long Island.


    On Wednesday, President Trump will attend an FBI forum in Bethpage focusing on MS-13 gang violence on Long Island.


    On Wednesday, President Trump will attend an FBI forum in Bethpage focusing on MS-13 gang violence on Long Island.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."