Six months ago, the Equifax data breach affected more than 143 million Americans. Just last week, the credit reporting agency admitted an additional 2.4 million Americans were affected.
But the Equifax breach is only the tip of the iceberg. According to Jeff Faulkner, acting president and CEO of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, there are roughly 1,500 data breaches a year, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to identity theft or fraud.
That means you have to protect your credit more vigilantly than ever before, and yet millions of American still fail to do so. CNBC has more:
Most people still have not taken steps to find out whether their information is at risk. Half of U.S. adults said they have not looked at their credit report or credit score since the Equifax breach, according to a recent survey by CreditCards.com. Eighteen percent of adults have never checked their credit report or credit score, the report said.
Faulkner recommends setting up notifications to track credit card transactions, checking your existing credit accounts for suspicious activity and pulling credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com to check for new accounts in your name as well as putting a short-term or longer-term fraud alert on your report, which is free. The alert means that a lender seeking to approve an application must first contact you to verify the request is from you, not an imposter trying to take out a loan or credit card.
Post-Equifax, there’s no excuse for not checking your credit report on a weekly basis. If you don’t, you’re leaving your money at risk.