Andrew Housser recently submitted an article to WBRC entitled “How to Safeguard your Credit after the Equifax Breach”. Mr. Housser is the CEO and co-founder of Freedom Financial Network, a network of companies that provide debt relief and help to empower people to live healthier financial lives.

The article advises several changes after the recent Equifax security breach. Because nearly half of the U.S. has had personal information like Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, you may want to consider taking action to protect financial situation from fraud.

Housser suggests the first thing anyone should do is check the Equifax website they created specifically for the purpose of helping people learn if their information was stolen by the hackers. Nearly 143 million people have been affected by the security breach, so the first thing to do is determine if you are at risk.

Equifax also created a free identity theft protection membership through the same website. The protection also extends to credit monitoring to keep you up to date on any changes in your credit history.

You may also wish to place your credit on a freeze for all three of the U.S. credit monitoring bureaus. That way, creditors will be unable to look at any of your credit information, preventing anyone from opening credit in your name.

Another easy solution is to change your passwords. Often, we use the same passwords across a variety of websites, leaving your information vulnerable. Make sure your passwords are a combination of numbers, special characters, and letters. Also, don’t use easy to guess words like birthdates or family names. It might be a good idea to change it monthly. For more info about us: click here.

Housser also suggests you keep an eye out throughout the tax season. Many credit thieves will retain the information through the new year to claim the tax refund. By filing as early as possible, you will beat them to the punch, making sure that your authentic tax return will reach the IRS first.