BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV)- Question: What exactly is the Equifax breach, and how can I protect myself?
Answer (John Halterman-Beacon Wealth Management): "The Equifax breach is a big deal. We have had more calls about this then anything in the last couple of weeks.
What I'm telling people is you have to go to equifaxsecurity.com and put in your personal information. It'll actually tell you whether you were breached or not. I did it for myself and my wife and I found out we were definitely one of the people that were breached. A lot of my own clients are some of those people. Definitely go check to confirm first if you were part of the breach. From there, there are a few things I think you should do
You have to go and get the free report, meaning that you have to get your credit report to see if anyone's doing it. Equifax themselves will monitor you for a year because of this.
You also have to consider putting a freeze on your credit card or at least look at fraud alerts on those. You have to look at your bank accounts, you have to do as much monitoring as you can.
One of the things I also consider is really signing up for some type of identity theft protection. Whether you go to Zander Insurance and get them or any of those services that can protect you up to about $1 million. That way you know on a month-to-month basis what's happening with your identity and what is happening with your credit.
Definitely take those steps and if you're not sure, we just put a blog post out two weeks ago gives you step-by-step instructions. If you go to our website BWMWV.com, under Expert Insights, and under our blog post you can find a step by step instructions there."