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Equifax data breach: Don't let your guard down yet

Posted at 4:30 AM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 15:12:50-05

DENVER — Multiple data breaches happened this past year, and the Equifax data breach remains the biggest.

Nearly 143 million American's had their personal information stolen, according to Equifax. This includes Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdays and names.

The dust has settled in these breaches, but it doesn't mean you should let your guard down.

Andrew Urbaczewski with the University of Denver's Department of Business Information and Analytics said people need to be wary about their accounts. 

"All we can do is be diligent right now. The problems that we are having is the information has been out there — it's been taken. It's probably been sold and resold multiple times," said Urbaczewski. "Who knows when the people who have that information will try to use it do to nefarious things."

Ping Identity, an identity security company based in Denver, said the door is always open for identity thefts.

“It can be a huge task to unwind the harm done in these types of attacks and data breaches,” says Robb Reck, chief information security officer of Ping Identity. “It’s important to keep an eye on each of your critical accounts and regularly monitor your credit report for any suspicious activities.”

  1. Monitor your credit and bank accounts. Checking your credit is critical, and it’s worth noting that this is just as important for children as it is for adults. Too often kids can be a target and not realize their information was compromised until years later when they take out their first car loan, for instance. Don’t forget to regularly check your online bank accounts and monitor for any fraudulent activity.
  2. Turn on multi-factor authentication. This means keeping an attacker out even when a password is stolen. With this setting, a service provider has to confirm the account log-in with the user in real time, generally by sending a notification to your cell phone. Most apps offer a multi-factor authentication setting in the privacy and security section.
  3. Think like a hacker. Start hacking your own email account, which will help you learn where you’re most vulnerable for a breach. Pare down your contacts list, photos and old emails -- anything you don’t feel like keeping. Your best bet is to delete it!
  4. Practice good password conventions. First and foremost, don’t repeat passwords or use the names of your kids, pets, birthdays, etc. Instead, creating a series of words strung together that doesn’t make a logical sentence is a very good password.

To find out if your information was stolen in the Equifax data breach: click here