The Equifax Data Breach: Options you Should Consider Now to Protect Yourself
News reports indicate that credit monitoring company Equifax was hacked recently. Reports vary as to how many people were affected and how much data was stolen. However, it seems to be clear that a significant number of individuals had at least some amount of important personally identifiable information stolen, possibly including social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and credit card numbers.
While this is a breach specific to Equifax, and this was not a breach of Lido Advisors, LLC, many of our clients are rightfully concerned, have contacted us asking for assistance or information, and at this point, we believe that taking some preventative measures is prudent for all of our clients, friends, and associates.
Below are a number of actions you should consider:
- Check the Equifax website to determine if your information was part of the incident. This takes only a minute. The website to obtain information about the incident is:
- On the above website is a tab entitled “Potential Impact” where you can enter certain information to learn if your information was potentially compromised:
- You can then consider signing up for free credit monitoring for a year (without compromising any rights to sue individually or become part of a class action). The appropriate website is listed below:
- Consider opting into an alternative credit monitoring service. If you already have a credit monitoring service it might not be necessary. We don’t know if Equifax credit monitoring service is the most useful service or such other services such as Life Lock (https://www.lifelock.com/products/) or something similar might be better. You can always utilize more than one credit monitor service but of course these other services charge an annual membership fee. There is also a service that will provide free copies of your credit report from all three (3) agencies once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Consider freezing your credit. If someone tries to open new accounts using your identity from a source that would normally run your credit, they will be unable to get the report. This might prevent that account from being opened. Freezing your credit does not affect your credit score, prevent you from receiving your free annual credit report, or impact other ways in which you might normally use your credit. It also will not prevent a thief from accessing your existing accounts.
- You would need to unfreeze your credit if you want to make it available for specific purposes such as leasing a new car. Once you obtain the necessary new credit, you would then need to again freeze new credit with the three reporting agencies. You would need to contact each of the credit reporting services below and possibly pay a small fee. The three main credit monitoring agencies websites are listed below:
- Consider having credit and debit cards reissued. Though nothing is perfect, it may make sense to ask your credit card companies, and banks to reissue your cards. This will help protect your existing accounts. Large transactions such as wires typically require verbal confirmation as an extra layer of protection by a known person before they will be executed. Lido clients are aware that we always require a verbal confirmation when wiring funds to third parties.
We will continue to monitor for developments on this breach. If you have questions, contact your Lido Advisors, LLC representative.
–Your Investment Team at Lido Advisors
Past performance is not an indication of future performance. The information provided in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any types of securities. There is a risk of loss from investments in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be profitable or suitable for a particular investor’s financial situation or risk tolerance. Asset allocation and portfolio diversification cannot assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses.
The information contained herein reflects Lido’s views as of the date of this newsletter. Such views are subject to change at any time without notice due to changes in market or economic conditions and may not necessary come to pass. Lido has obtained the information provided herein from various third party sources believed to be reliable but such information is not guaranteed. Any forward looking statements or forecasts are based on assumptions and actual results are expected to vary from any such statements or forecasts. No reliance should be placed on any such statements or forecasts when making any investment decision. Lido is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken as a result of information provided in this newsletter and does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.
Lido Advisors, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Please note that adviser registration does not denote any particular competence nor ability and no inference to the contrary should be made. For complete information on the services we provide and our fees, please review our Form ADV at adviserinfo.sec.gov or request a copy from Lido Advisors, LLC at 1875 Century Park East, Suite 950, Los Angeles, California 90067, or by calling (310) 278-8232.