How to protect yourself from identity theft - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

How to protect yourself from identity theft

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS, Mont. -

Identity theft and hacking are two of the most popular crimes in the United States. The digital age is making those crimes easier for criminals.

Equifax credit is the latest victim of hacking and says, approximately half of Americans may be at risk for identity theft after this latest security breach. Equifax holds all of your credit, bank, and personal information.

We spoke with Dan Buchta from the Better Business Bureau about how you can protect yourself.

Buchta said you can do a couple things to protect yourself from threats of identity theft. He said you can put a freeze on your credit account which allows you to access your credit cards, utilities, and banking but no new accounts can be started. You can also place a fraud alert through Equifax, Transunion, or Experian. A fraud alert would allow the credit companies to alert you before a new account gets opened.

Equifax has offered a free year of TrustID Premier, an identity security program, to those affected by their security breach. To see if you qualify you can go to equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on potential impact, then check potential impact and follow the prompts. If you've been affected you can then start the process to enroll in TrustID Premier.

Buchta offered this last bit of advice, "You can't panic about it but you do have to stay vigilant, you do have to pay attention, and take the steps you can to protect your identity. One thing is that they've made it easier these days to start the process of cleaning it up if you do find yourself a victim. There is help out there for you. Vigilance is the number one way that you can protect yourself. Staying on top of it, detecting it early, and immediately starting the process towards a solution will allow you to clean it up very quickly."

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